Sandra Lindow works as a Title I Reading Specialist at the Eau Claire Academy, a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescents. She lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with her husband Michael Levy and their daughter Miriam. She has three published chapbooks: Rooted in the Earth, The Heroic Housewife Papers, and A Celebration of Bones.
To Rebecca Cann and Mary Leakey, the search goes on
On finding a bone in a tin of canned salmon,
She decided to build a dinosaur.
The bone was threaded through a chain
Around her neck and the can, neatly shaped
Into a fair approximation of a mandible.
Her biggest collander became a skull,
Eggbeathers and lipsticks, femurs and phalanges,
Wired together with pipe cleaners.
Despite her distraction, the houseplants
Did not suffer, hearts of Philodendron
And Mother Tongue began to thrive,
Assumed a lushness unseen in her house before.
A tricycle wheel became the breastbone.
Old curtain rods and the guest bed mattress
Formed the ribcage. The Lazy Boy Recliner
Produced the joints for the knees.
About the time she was wiring
A set of lug wrenches into the spine,
The house began to change as well,
Draperies becoming green and ropy,
Light dappling on the wallpaper
As it filtered the enormous leaves.
She found it a pleasant change, she said,
And didn’t mind that she couldn’t find the garage.
The tail was several dozen Diet Coke cans,
All red and white and silver, tapering
To a tab, promising zero calories,
And the lifelong pursuit of a svelteness
She thought she could do without.
But on attaching the last of them,
She found the master bedroom had gone,
Replaced by a hammock swinging beneath the stars.
By then she’d taken to wearing
A tablecloth knotted into a sarong,
Said the weather was too warm there
For her to wear anything else.
I think she upset the balance of nature,
Building something as primal as a dinosaur
Out of all that sleazy man-made stuff.
That’s why it took her house -
Took her, too, I guess.
If you go there, she’s not at home.
Previously published in Asimov’s, March 1992. Copyright © 1992 by Sandra Lindow
A Celebration of Bones
In the chiropractor’s office
I fell in love with my bones,
A life size X-ray taped to the wall.
When I entered the room,
I saw them and knew them,
Knew them more deeply
Than a wife knows her husband,
Know them more surely and sweetly
The a mother knows the
Babe she has borne.
My bones, me, that tidy package
Study and symmetrical,
Two hundred interlocking pieces,
A triumph of efficient design:
Tibia, fibula, cranium, phalanges,
Clavicle and mandible;
Bones of ankle and wrist
Too small to mention,
Tiny tintinnabular bones of the inner ear -
Hammer, and anvil and stirrup,
Bones of strength and endurance,
Bones of mobility and dexterity,
Bones that form smooth white arcs
Across black, photographic film,
Bones like comets curved against the night,
Bulwark of bones from which flesh sails
And the heart takes passage,
Marrow of bones
Wherein mitochondrian politics
Invisible bones of the hidden spirit
Bones of motherhood, shaman and poet,
Bones for witching water from dry land,
Bones that turn the hazel branch
Toward the secrets of the aquifer,
Bones that know the lay of the land
From the moment of my conception.
I embrace them
With a most passionate
Most encompassing of hugs;
And they hold me
As I wish to be held
With the perfect unquestioning acceptance
Of the most supportive,
Most intimate of lovers.
Previously published Star*line, Fall 1990. Copyright © 1990 by Sandra Lindow
At Moon Lake the summer sun warms a patchwork path of decaying boards and railroad ties. We walk barefoot on sponge-laden sphagnum moss, like snipes our blue jeans rolled to the knee, each step a precarious balancing of weight, squish, suck, slap as black water curls around our toes On either side, among the innocent beauty of Lady Slipper and Pitcher Plant our guide wars of kneedeep hipdeep, headdeep holes (this heave and bubble of muck the moss has stolen.) Michael and I talk of other bogs where bodies sink and are preserved within the acidic peat beneath - Lindow Man, uncovered in England a young man sacrificed in his prime to appease some dark-lusted harvest god. For a moment I see my middle-aged body entombed beneath sunlight and cattail, Lindow woman, and our guide points on the right to a gentle grave-like rise at the water's edge where a pair of loons nest, mated for life.
Previously published UpRiver 5, 1995. Copyright © 1995 by Sandra Lindow
Sandra J. Lindow
320 West Tyler Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
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