Letter to a Danish Skeleton by Robbie Pock

—The Vedbaek Woman and Child,
National Museum Copenhagen
Late Mesolithic 5000 BC


You are mostly intact here in the future
though there is a dent in your skull and
your pelvis is spread like a big ocean fish
split down the middle.

Also, your ribcage has collapsed
and your unhinged clavicles have drifted a little
with the sediment.

I don’t know what to say about the boy
except he’s with you. His gaping
mouth, like tallow or wax, melted
over your arm through the long time.

So little is left of the rest of him--
splintered bones like twigs or reeds
gone brittle in winter. Amulets
have collected in the cavity where his belly was.

I can tell you that the skunks and foxes
won’t find him, that you will be together
always in this box of heavy glass.
But there will be light and voices every day.
You will be uncovered forever,
and we all will look
into the spaces between your bones.


ROBBIE POCK was born and raised in rural Arizona, but is now a happy transplant to the Pacific Northwest. She writes, teaches, and raises her family near Portland.