800px-CharnelHouseI saw you walking through the charnel house,
harvesting the bleached and disarticulated bones
of our ancestors to make our rote Sunday soup
Nights, you hung lifeless prayer from rotting teeth

At dawn you regurgitated the remains and our
foremothers spoke sadly of disease and diaspora
I wept to know how you suffered for your fantasies
We are left spineless and bloodless by our history

Crowned with the prickly thorns of your illusions,
you were greatly given to infusions of wine and bread
and daily rosaries traded for the remission of sins,
the very ones you would indulge again …

Now I know these bargains are Faustian and that
a puppet dancing in the dark has many lies to tell

For Z.M.

©2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photo – a Greek charnel house – by Tom Oats under CC BY SA 3.0