3. Beyond the field is a small pond/river/body of water. Where the mothers take the bonegirls and return alone.
4. There is an art to drowning.
5. A field is an open expanse of land—a grave.
6. First you must submerge the body. Best if head underwater.
7. A river—a bed of sediment, water and death.
8. You must be prepared to hold the baby girl asunder and not let go. Do not let go. You must be prepared to fight.
9. If you return with the girl, he will beat you and then kill you both.
10. I should not tell you this: survival is not made for two.
11. The hardest part will not be the water but carrying your limp bonegirl back to the field.
ANSLEY MOON is the author of the poetry collection How to Bury the Dead. A recent finalist for The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective’s Emerging Poets Prize, Moon has received fellowships and awards from Kundiman, the Hambidge Center, and the Writer’s Room at the Betsy. She lives and works in New York City.
This poem was a finalist for our 2015 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize Honoring Jake Adam York. Learn more about the contest here.