Every morning I awake with immense anticipation
of the walk across the room to the windowsill
to find the pretty package which has been
left in the night.
I carefully pick up the soft cloth wrapping
tied with satin ribbon - today pink, sometimes
and gently unfold, slowly
so as to allow the scent of lilac
to touch my senses in its own time.
I am never disappointed
to look inside at the delicate bones and tiny teeth
so clean and white and smooth
as I reflect upon the value of sacrifice
and shake them gently into the palm of my hand.
they mix with the salt
the edges growing coarse
raked by overgrown fingernails with grime underneath
They become heavy with sickness
like the death they are.
Now they are real -
expectations, faith and hope
clenched too tightly
so they don't get away
as I head outside
to the dirt yard.
I drop them unceremoniously
on this barren earth
and stomp them down hard
my boots grinding
and finally, some lighter fluid and a match
More stomping, grinding
the smoke stinging
the smell, sickening
although you'd think I'd be used to it by now.
I walk away to get on with the day
and I am never disappointed.