Remains at an Archeological Site by John C. Mannone

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.

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