Red Hills and Bones


Christopher Buckley

No one takes the absence
into account the way I do -
this rind of backbone, the bridge
and scale of its blank articulation,
sustains some perfectly whole
notes of light against the raw
muscle of the land unbound,
the undercurrents surfacing
in concert with the white riffs
of cholla spotting the swales.

Put right, one part of loss
counterpoints the next, leaves us
much to see despite the frank
abrasion of the air, Finally,
this thighbone is every bit
the bright, hard stuff of stars
and against the hills'
rust and clay sets free
a full, long silence here
that as much as anything
sings all my life to me.

From Blossoms and Bones by Christopher Buckley, Vanderbilt University Press.
© 1988 Christopher Buckley

Buy LIFEB. - American Artist Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (silver gelatin photograph) at
Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (LIFE)
John Loengard (silver gelatin photograph)
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