Good Bones

“…This place could be beautiful, right?”

“Good Bones” went viral in 2016 when it was published in Waxwing.  It seemed to sum up all of our hopes and fears for our children.  Maggie Smith, who wrote “Good Bones,” has several award winning books and chapbooks.  You can read more about her here.

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

– Maggie Smith
  First published in Waxwing

P.S.  New Prompts are up on the Prompts page.


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