October 20, 2023

Ghosts in the Garden / Bog Bodies by Sarah Ray

Ghosts in the Garden

I woke early on a Thursday, 

sun still golden over 

the tops of trees. 

An unrest, 

a hush of worry dipped 

into my shoulders and 

hung its broken weight 

on my back, cold against 

the sunlit walls of my bedroom.

Still I rose, 

to the painted light

and poured coffee in 

a sun-washed kitchen. 

Outside was the sound 

of ghosts. 

Or, maybe just 

howling chickens 

in the neighbor’s yard. 

The sorrowful sound of 

empty eggs 

quickly taken from under

soft breasts. 

Their howls grew 

loud, strange, and haunting. 

Alone in the garden 

I walked. 

From gold to heavy, haunted howl 

to gold again. I chased 

the ghosts away and 

chicks cooed softly 

in their roosts. 

Bog Bodies

I read a story in the New York Times
about bog bodies and the deaths they died.

Human remains, twisted bodies in preserved tragedy—
I could count the ancient wrinkles and worry lines.

They were stabbed, tortured then brined,
centuries later, photographed for the Times.

Sarah Ray earned her MFA from Saint Mary's College of California and writes poetry about humans and the natural world. She is a teacher living in Oakland and you can find her at sraypoet.com.

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