Remains at an Archeological Site
John C. Mannone
Uncovered skull, disheveled bones,
knuckles of the right hand curled
around ivory (handle of a dagger),
pelvis of a woman, ribcage busted
close to the where the heart had been.
The way the bones broke and jutted
out, she must have been surprised
from behind—probably expecting
trouble. Killed with a prompt thrust
of a sword. No indications of death
by disease. But crypt air was fouled
with fear perhaps her own or maybe
it was that instilled by her assailant.
Dirt immediately below her chest—
iron-stained from where she bled out.
Perhaps courage spilled to ground
that day. DNA and other forensics
revealed that this was once a brave
young woman, who died cradling
a flower-cluster of small bones
in her left hand.