Pat Jones

Dry Bones

by Stephen Scaer

Last night God took me to a valley strewn
with scattered remnants of ten thousand men,
and led me back and forth, declaring soon
the fragile skeletons would live again.
I prophesied to them and heard them rattle
in hollow rhythms as my words restored
their scattered frames and readied them for battle,
and gave them breath to praise the sovereign Lord.
In armored rows beneath the sun, the ranks
proclaimed their second birth in harmonies,
making the mountains echo with their thanks.
But when they saw they stood with enemies
whom God had also raised, they stopped their hymn
and took apart their neighbors limb from limb.

Stephen Scaer of Nashua, NH, was the winner of the 2008 Howard Nemerov Competition. He is a special education teacher.