Bone and Hue

By Olivia Clare b. 1982 Olivia Clare
There was a young woman
who lived in her shoes.

Bare-backed, she sat
with elders and sheened
her nails with sloe.

Felt purse, trunk,
berries in bottled gin.

Smoke rose
from the purples of the ground.

Moscow maybe next, or
Poland, where the numbers burned.

Purples of the mosses turned.
Some million shades.
Six million more.

Purples of the mosses,
and all the millions, blue.

She had so many lives,
she didn’t know what to do.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Olivia  Clare

Biography

Olivia Clare was born in New York in 1982 and raised in Louisiana. She earned a BA in English from University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in Southern Review, London Magazine, Poetry, FIELD, and other journals. She was the 2008-2009 Olive B. O'Connor Fellow at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She is also working on a collection of short stories.
. . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.