Today's poem is by Keetje Kuipers

The Keys to the Jail

It's the second day of spring.
In Montana, we burn our garbage.
Two blocks down, the Dairy Queen
swings open its shutters for another
season. We tell our sad stories
until the dog hangs his head
in the wet snow-wells of the too-soon
tulips. It gets uglier every year:
The same melt that clears the gutters
uncovers the dead, or the not-dead-
long-enough. And suddenly
we smell them again, their bodies
unlocked from that frozen state
of decay, the mouths slack
but whispering, their cold breath
fresh on the air. Except the breath
is our own, the voices belong
to you and me, and the music they make
is not the swift tumble of locks,
but the soft drop of bones in a bowl.

Copyright © 2011 Keetje Kuipers All rights reserved
from Northwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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