My Skull


Finally, dear skull, your appearance
delights me. For so long
I've known you were coming.
I saw it in my father and uncles,
I caught glimpses so soon
after puberty, that while a long
and thick mop of hair hung
below my shoulders there was
what seemed a constant breeze,
a headwind pushing the hair away
from my forehead, back, always back.
And with the sun blazing
through the thinning strands, you,
dear skull, blazed back.
It's gotten so that I wouldn't
recognize myself with too much hair,
nor do I think I would like who I saw:
that man, with a mouth of big teeth,
the face of a giant ant, and those eyes . . .
those eyes I've seen in photographs
when I was looking elsewhere–
the eyes of a blackbird, a scavenger
groveling and pecking, flying away
at the slightest noise. Silent cranium,
passing through it all: the odd jobs,
the inclement weather, the few hands
that have tousled my hair and rubbed
you, dear skull, the monk in me,
patiently making your way
to the clear sky
to bow.


Seido Ray Ronci, The Skeleton of the Crow, Ausable Press, 2008.