A Case for Bones
Harley Chapman
      	after Maggie Smith

  I’ve been thinking on good bones
  & what makes up the bones
  & what makes the bones good.
  I know my bones are good
  because they came from my mother
  & my grandmother before her.
  The skeleton I’ve inherited
  invites heavy winds & doesn’t bow.
  We weren’t made to keep out.
  There are wide spaces between
  our ribs where you can settle
  for a night or a year.
  There are no doors here.
  Nothing to keep you in.
  We built around empty space
  & know it well. It’s a comfort
  to feel it creaking.
  To know it is a part
  of our construction.
  We don’t fear bad weather
  or the loss of things
  that keep us warm.
  My grandmother taught me
  to open all the windows
  when a tornado bothers.
  Invite it in for tea, ask it
  to leave the important bits.
  If it wants to demolish you,
  let it try.

Harley Chapman is a poet and artist residing in Chicago. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches Writing & Rhetoric. Her work can also be found in Euphemism and Columbia Poetry Review.