Marian Kilcoyne

In the way that he arranges the chains
of lacquered wishbones across the
window, there is a deftness she idly
admires. A flick of the wrist settles
the melange into a delicate lattice
setting free the jewel colours. She
has painted each one to its contours
polishing the lacquer to a satiny
shine. Satisfied he turns to her and
they nod a complicit nod; there is
beauty in wishbones. Days later
when he is felled by a too weak and
bitter heart, she spends time with
each bone, tearing it apart. Calmly.

Author's Commentary: This poem came to me very swiftly. I had an image of a man standing by a window and a woman sitting at a table painting actual wishbones, indeed lacquering them with exquisite precision. He was busy arranging them in a delicate intricate lattice across the window, akin to fulfilling a lace curtain. I do not know who they are although he looked a little like Ted Hughes. Was this a love they shared or not? This wishbone ritual? I believe the poem to be, in truth, a little about compromise in relationships and whether it is all such a big ask, - a lifetime together, that is and what one does when the other dies or leaves.

Marian Kilcoyne lives mostly on the West coast of Ireland beside the ocean.
She has been published or is forthcoming at Prelude, The Louisville Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Crannog, Ofi Press, Frogmore Papers, Cyphers, Apalachee Review, New Contrast, Quiddity, Grey Sparrow Journal, Off The Coast, The Galway Review, The Liner, Into The Void, and others.
Her website is at