Over The Bones
Rhonda Maltbie, USA
We walk the trail through scrub trees, towards the huckleberry fields.
Wildflowers splash red Indian Paintbrush in the tall grasses. Pollen
floats in the sunlight like pixie dust in a Peter Pan cartoon.
My grandfather leads the way. He is tall and thick; his weathered face
an unspoken endearment. He carries a carved walking stick with a bear-head
We picnic on a large flat rock near the edge of a clearing. He tells
stories as we eat cold chicken, egg salad sandwiches and drink Kool-aid.
freckle the ground with sun-
“ Do you ever have the feeling you're being watched?
When I was a boy, a very long time ago, my brother and I found a dead
body very near here. I was just about your age. All that was left were
the bones. We knelt down to look at it closer, my brother poked it with
a stick. The clothes were torn into rags as if they had been through
a wood chipper.
This was no mere animal that had done this.”
Goose bumps raise the hair on my arms. A sudden breeze sends a shiver
down my back. I ask, “What do you think did it, Grandpa?”
He looks around and leans in close. He whispers, “Bigfoot,” and
I look at him as if he has just grown a toe in the middle of his forehead.
He laughs even harder and draws me into a hug that squeezes me breathless,
“Don't worry sweetheart, I know where he lives. I've been there. You are
safe with me.”
green pine outlined in gold
a heron drinks
Maltbie received first honorable mention for the Homer J. Henderson
Award in 1983 from the Washington Poets Association. She has appeared
in various poetry magazines and e-zines since then. Most recently, a
collection of 5 poems was posted at Underground Window in October of
2005: Simply Haiku