Old Bones

While venturing deep into a gnarled wood
I came to a place where once I had stood;
Recognizing the placement of fallen trunks
The sort of which nature would not display
Or have felled of her own accord.

Their arrangement there had given me pause
To question what end had given them cause,
And in rooting about I happened across
A shallow grave containing some bones
Laid to rest there long ago.

There could be no doubt as to what they were:
Remains of a person, of that I was sure
Though this was no place to be laid to rest,
I was irked by the thought of their being disturbed
And pondered what to do.

I knew I couldn’t very well gather them all
To carry for miles through ragged windfall;
I feared I should have to go there myself
And tell them in town just what I had found,
Though then I thought the better of it.

I’d lead them back to show them where
And they would ask just why I was there,
In the densest of woods with nothing near
And what did I mean by digging around?
I’d be flummoxed by the questions.

Eventually the truth would have to come out,
Of why I had been in that wooded redoubt
Once before, and why I’d returned:
I was calling upon an old friend
That I’d left there some time ago.


–  T. John Bartlett

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