Canticle for My Clavicle
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. —Psalm 51
“Nonunion” is the state my bone is in.
This collarbone, a jagged twig that snapped.
Bedaze me in your light, erase my sin.
Behold, I am ill-shaped, atilt, askew,
unable to embrace, outstretch, or clap.
Correct me, that my bearing may be true.
For I admit my role in this my fate,
having broken rank as well as bone.
My soul’s fragmented too; it’s warped, not straight.
Some exult when they become the crone
and do not mourn the passing of their youth.
But I decried it. Now must I atone?
Hide thy face from each wrong thought and choice.
Uphold and shore me, every place that’s rent.
Have mercy, that this clavicle rejoice.
Editor’s Note: Kate told me that “A canticle is a prayer-poem, often based on a Psalm and so it be…” and how could a reader deny the supplication that transcends mere injury and becomes a metaphor for life choices in these lines? The pain is sharp and nagging both, and this poem’s entreaty describes it perfectly.