Alan Catlin

Winter’s Bone

If she actually had a picture

in the high school yearbook,

it would have shown a tall,

maybe one hundred pound,

flat chested girl with a half dozen

clearly visible homemade tattoos

suggesting a like amount of ink

in places no one was ever likely to

see this side of an autopsy table.

Where her full name and activities

should have been listed would be

a single phrase in quotes, “Bones”.

Activities: None

Awards: None

Voted most likely to die before

the age of 30 of an overdose.


Ten years later she is still kicking,

barely, though, if anything, she’d

lost weight on her special Organ

Failure Diet that ages one double time,

guarantees hair loss and sallow,

sagging, discolored skin.

She won’t smile since she lost

most of her teeth, only opens

her mouth to insert cigarette,

light, inhale, exhale, and repeat when


She still hangs by the old

school as that is where her best

customers/ suppliers hang. 

Might even have graduated if she’s

Actually, gone to class as they were

putting everyone through as long as

their names appeared on an attendance

sheet in order to score more state aid. 

Everyone is hooked on something

these days.

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