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Gnawed Bones

Peggy Shumaker

Publication Year: 2010

From wildfire and war to bleached reefs and human frailty, Peggy Shumaker’s new poems meditate on mortality. Her poems speak with elegaic force for lost languages, lost ancestors, lost ways of being. This work sharpens the edges of our perception, drawing on the inner life, on secrets that keep us alive. With language as lyrical as the natural world, the poems in Gnawed Bones nourish us.

Published by: Red Hen Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

Section I: July Twilight on the Chena

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pp. 3-4

July Twilight on the Chena

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pp. 5-

What we Get Used To

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pp. 6-

Sea Change

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pp. 7-

Snapshot

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pp. 8-

Polished Table

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pp. 9-

Deliverance

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pp. 10-

Pheasant

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pp. 11-12

Gnawed Bones

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pp. 13-

Nests, an Elegy

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pp. 14-15

Smoke

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pp. 16-

When Ground Cannot Take in More Rain

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pp. 17-

Night Dive

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pp. 18-

Night Watch

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pp. 19-20

As War Goes On

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pp. 21-22

Bugler, Ft. Wainwright, Alaska

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pp. 23-

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Dive, Three Definitions

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pp. 24-26

Worldwide, reefs suffer wherever crown-of-thorns starfish take over. The only creature that finds them delicious, the only one that can slip its long foot underneath the crown-of-thorn’s formidable armor, flip it, then gorge on the shining delicacies within the star is this: the Trident’s Trumpet, ...

Section II: Mystery Aisle

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pp. 27-28

The Provider

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pp. 29-31

Desert Odyssey

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pp. 32-

Touch and Go

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pp. 33-34

Always the Entertainer

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pp. 35-36

Rinsing that Tomato

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pp. 37-

You’re Here

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pp. 38-39

Chickens

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pp. 40-

Swallows

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pp. 41-42

Ha Ha Ha

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pp. 43-

No Sign

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pp. 44-45

My Father Never

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pp. 46-47

Beyond Words, This Language

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pp. 48-

Radio Control

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pp. 49-50

No One Knows How to Speak

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pp. 51-

Albóndigas

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pp. 52-53

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Portal

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pp. 54-56

My father’s fifth wife was the only one he really married. The others were legal, sure. But they weren’t binding. Maybe his fifth wife was so thoroughly married he had to be, too. Concepción Álvarez Sotelo Howe. His true mate, Connie. For the last quarter century of his life, she taught my father to be part of a family. ...

Section III: Our Mother of Sorrows

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pp. 57-58

Land Fraud Nosebleed

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pp. 59-61

Desert Climbing

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pp. 62-

Better Homes

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pp. 63-64

Go to the Broom Closet and Pick Out a Stick

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pp. 65-

Horny Toads

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pp. 66-

Asthma

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pp. 67-

Our Mother of Sorrows

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pp. 68-

Sky of Souls

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pp. 69-70

Upset Woman

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pp. 71-

You Should Know Better

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pp. 72-74

Glyphs on a Limestone Stela

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pp. 75-

All the Mustaches on All the Judases

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pp. 76-

The Aroma of Rain in the Desert

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pp. 77-

Mango

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pp. 78-

Ocotillo

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pp. 79-

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Norwegian Wood

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pp. 80-

By the time I scored an almost-mint Hard Day’s Night poster for fifteen cents at the swap meet, nobody plastered her walls anymore with John, Paul, George, Ringo. Survival cliques weren’t formed anymore by girls who thought Ringo was cutest. He wasn’t. But those girls would never fit in with Paul’s group ...

Mother Tongue

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pp. 81-

That Painting I Didn’t Buy

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pp. 82-84

Section IV: Naming What we Hold in our Hand

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pp. 85-86

Wilderness

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pp. 87-

Pale Woman on Stretcher

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pp. 88-

What Next

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pp. 89-

A Brief Aside

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pp. 90-

Narrow Roads to/from the Interior

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pp. 91-

Missing

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pp. 92-

Strokes

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pp. 93-

Lapse

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pp. 94-

Hard Stick

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pp. 95-

Spleen

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pp. 96-

Shower

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pp. 97-

Good Sign

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pp. 98-

Naming What we Hold in our Hand

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pp. 99-100

Kus-Sun-Ar

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pp. 101-

Oatmeal

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pp. 102-

In Praise, Ephemera

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pp. 103-

Chatanika

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pp. 104-

Long Before we got Here, Long After we’re Gone

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pp. 105-106

Acknowledgments

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pp. 107-108

Other Works by the Author

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pp. 109-


E-ISBN-13: 9781597093521
Print-ISBN-13: 9781597091565
Print-ISBN-10: 1597091561

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: First

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