Canticle for My Clavicle by Kate Bernadette Benedict

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.

by Kate Bernadette Benedict

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.

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