Interment | Paulann Petersen



Barrow of rubble. Burial mound 
of blown-apart concrete, broken stone
where a bomb struck an hour ago.
In that pile of debris, a mother digs.
With bleeding hands she pulls 
at chunks of her family home—
pieces of wall, doorway, roof—
to find the body

this war buried. To pry him
from a bomb-made, makeshift grave.
To wash his limbs with rose water
and wind him in a clean, white cloth.
To keen over the pine coffin
adorned with only that name
she gave him at his birth.
To bury her child 
again, in spade-broken earth.

                       —Paulann Petersen


Understory, Lost Horse Press, 2013


© Paulann Petersen, all rights reserved. You may use poems from this website for non-commercial purposes only. Poems must be used in their entirety, including any citations or acknowledgements listed at the bottom of the page. For more information, contact .