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I want to move to Florida, 
though I’ve heard about overgrown  

insects and enough humidity to droop  
the sprightliest senior citizen. But, instead, 

I stay inside my room up North, hail  
pounding on the windows, clacking 

down the pavement. In a country I once lived in, 
I was told they dug up the bones of the dead 

to clean them, place them in boxes in small rooms  
of stone. I walked into one of those rooms. 

I could hear those bones rattling 
as if wanting to get up. 

The branches of trees in winter are connected,  
like bones. Snow covered, they remind me  

of marrow and small birds pecking at them, 
sucking it out. What does the universe use as bones?  

Is God invisible because she has no bones 
or because she makes no bones about it? Within me  

is a chill I can’t get rid of, a shiver  
to the skin. In the dread of winter, it reminds me  

of why we sleep, when all around us the snow  
makes us look optimistic. 

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee is the author of two award-winning collections, Intersection on Neptune (The Poetry Press of Press Americana, 2019), winner of Prize Americana for Poetry 2018, and On the Altar of Greece (Gival Press, 2006), winner of the 2005 Gival Press Poetry Award and recipient of a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally, including The Bitter Oleander, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Massachusetts Review, Southern Humanities Review, and A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments. Her website is

© 2021, Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

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