Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Worry Bone

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Waking in the morning anxious about troubled dreams he couldn’t trace was not a happy experience for today’s poet, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc of Portland. Yet he “took paper in trade” for it, and the description he wrote became today’s fine poem.

Worry Bone by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

Woke gnawing its remains. Air
the brackish tinge of depths I had
all night been swimming in. No bird
song from the vine-covered fence
my room looks out on—not even
the pigeons’ manic calls. I talked
myself down from the bed, a loft,
took paper in trade for the splintered
bone—human or animal 
I don’t know. I’d picked it clean though,
chewed the joint, cracked one end,
sucked the marrow. Tell me,
Mind, why you ravaged this limb-part.
Tell me what its owner told you in the dark.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Reprinted from Death of a Ventriloquist, University of North Texas Press, 2012, by permission of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.