What The Bones Know - Poem by Maia Mayor
When I am old, my bones will make music with every crack,
creating rhythms throughout my spinal cord and back
that tell fractured stories of where I've been.
All 206 of them are shells that breathe life into the living,
so I will smile on the days that I've worn them thin
knowing the end of my youth was only the beginning.
Broken and repaired, bones grow with experience
wrapping around broken hearts like the protective arms of a mother,
they comfort me.
even as they'll one day wither into nothing but gray ash,
even as they decay and
deteriorate at the speed of my brain when I am old
I know that they will hold me up.
And if time does not heal all wounds,
I know that if I'm lucky enough to reach my grandmother's age,
the aches and the pains will cease to matter.
When I am old, my bones will grow stories that structure life by the chapter
chasing immortality like dreams ‘cause we are always getting closer to the end.
So I will not spend my time staring at the slow movements
of the hands of a clock.
I will not live my life delicately,
two hands placed gently on my lap
while my body waits for my bones to rot
because life will not wait for you.
There is no pausing until you are ready.
There is only the steady growth of responsibility to carry your weight in this world.
So I will use all 206 elements of a support system
to remind myself I am able.
When I am old, my bones will build monuments made of ivory.
They'll tower over skyscrapers to show them how it's done
when the power of one man's persistence
reaches so high it could block out the sun.
Because what the bones know
is that their work is never done.
They wear our bodies like marble chains to teach us not to run
when time strips us of vitality-
erasing youth in uniform progression
like every strand for every second
every pigment for every minute
until we fade into transparency.
But underneath that paper-thin skin lie maps disguised as veins,
documented battle scars and sprains where memories left permanent marks.
And I can only hope that someday I'll wear my heart on my sleeve
to show you where I broke.
Show you how I woke up one day to learn the growing pains never stop.
Our bones will always throb because their job is to remind us
that we live until we drop.
We grow until we rot.
So wear these bones like armor
and take them farther into battle than you ever thought you could.
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