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In My Bones
Diane Lockward

    my nose,
  into my throat,
 a salmon swims
 in my bones.
 She navigates
 the damaged
  ecosystem of my
   body, slips inside
    porous bones.
     Like an engineer
     fixing a faulty dam,
      she lays her eggs
       in the holes, the
        hollow redds.
        All night I feel her
        undulations, the
        arching and
       reaching of back
      and belly. I move
     with the flapping
    of her tail. Her
   voice bubbles up
  to the surface.
 My ears swoosh
with water and
syllables. I hear her
calling her unborn
as once I called
my own. Pink with
 the oily ooze of
  salmon, her feathery
   flesh, and wild with
    desire for fresh water, 

     I swim upstream,
      against the current,
       through rapids
        and estuaries,
         as after long
          I push for

From The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement (Wind Publications, 2016).
Used here with permission.

Diane Lockward is the editor of four books about writing poetry, four full-length poetry collections, and two chapbooks. Her award-winning work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies and she is a former Poet Laureate of West Caldwell, New Jersey. Learn more about Diane at





Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Posted 10/29/2021 11:10 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I am obsessed with this beautiful brilliant shape poem that flows as smoothly as the salmon swimming through the speaker's body. I love the metaphor of the salmon healing her bones. Wish I'd written it.
Posted 10/27/2021 09:09 AM
Lori Levy:
Love the idea of a salmon swimming through your bones.
Posted 10/26/2021 10:25 AM
This is a gem of a poem. Thank you for sharing :)
Posted 10/26/2021 08:41 AM
michael escoubas:
WOW! Superbly creative with particular sensitivity to the ruminations of the human spirit. This poem is "swimmingly" wise!!
Posted 10/26/2021 08:26 AM
Larry Schug:
To me, this is a poem of being in touch with oneself. There are are, no doubt, other interpretations equally as valid. I enjoy poems that take me on a journey, some where outside myself as does "In My Bones"
Posted 10/26/2021 07:07 AM

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