Memory

by Renée Olander

Whose bones ache in long healed broken places?
Whose bones remember, come damp or cold weather,
The hardball hit into the cheekbone?
The shoulder blade split
On pool side cement
The drowning terror, the close call, and
A green sweaty sling to chafe the neck?

Whose head sculpted a sparkling bulb
Into the windshield pushed it out with just a bruise
To the skull?  That time the MG Midget
Rammed the Mercedes who flew
Headfirst into shatterproof glass, walked away dizzy?

Whose bones ache in long healed broken places?
Whose bones remember knitting
Their cracked and tender parts, green twigs, hairlines,
And small bones crushed as hearts?

Whose simmering knowledge is it?
And what source feeds the craft,
The drawing together of edges, even jagged, even
Improperly set, and even when
Chewing pain returns each winter rain

What’s broke will calcify, will weave and knob.
Isn’t that some comfort?  Seasoned cells
Pass down information, legends
Of regeneration, like loyal aches
Long healed broken places can sustain.