Treading bones

The Daily Inkling prompt is side effects, a supernatural meaning for a sharp pain.


Walking the meadow

dry clay

cracked from side to side

making islands of yellow flowers and pink,

and from the cracks

the scuffle of tiny rodent

claws and paws

curling in comfort one against the other.

Beneath the trees

where branches cover green and pale

in leaf

not quite enough

to hide new nests

and flitting coloured birds

the sound of springsong.

Why this jabbing pain

the ribs the soles of feet the head?

Each footstep treads

a death

the end of some brief spell

among the flowers

of the insect-creeping earth.

Creaking backs

spines ache when mowers strip

the cover

seeded heavy with food.

They fade

the coloured songsters

the vole and rabbit

quick brown fox.

Fewer nests eggs young fledglings


meagre fare.

Dearth fades

not the swift fall of the axe.

Pain pinches the heart

of those who see the failed nests

and regret there are so few swallows

this year.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

5 thoughts on “Treading bones”

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