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.


3 responses to “Canticle for My Clavicle by Kate Bernadette Benedict”

  1. Ed Shacklee Avatar
    Ed Shacklee

    This is brilliant — beauty, and a bit of humor, too, out of pain. That to you, pain!

  2. Risa Denenberg Avatar

    Well done, Kate! May you heal swiftly and always make poetry of vicissitude!

  3. Dave Bonta Avatar

    I’m not normally attracted to formal poems, but this is stunning.

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