Hannah Lee Jones


As sons and songs go some precede
                     the others like a major chord,

                     barbed as they are with the mercies
of an inheritance. The winter I lost my skin

to my cousins in a cedar hollow, my father’s spade
                      silver in my ear, a wolf’s head

                      found me in a field of downed
hemlock, took my left hand

when I couldn’t reunite it with its body.
                      I know it seems like surrender

                      that I knelt to its wake.
It would seem like surrender that I gave my right

hand to its cold flame as it swept the meadows
                      like a thin hunter.

                      It was nothing. Except it was silver.
It steals through the blood when the north wind

returns to claim what I lack, and I kneel once more.
                      I kneel once more:

                      heaven knows what hell
moved his offering to another war.

Trees stopped crying as they were cut
                       and whispered as they fell –

                       here into the drawn breath
of another morning, once-phantom moons

sprouting from the old stumps like a second coming,
                        surely a god somewhere.

                        O god somewhere: find me
in some bramble among the crows, sealed in prayer.

Find me in these woods
                         where we die and rise again.


Hannah Lee Jones’s poetry and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Superstition Review, Literary Orphans, Apogee, Yes Poetry, decomP, Cider Press Review, and Orion. She edits Primal School, a resource for poets pursuing their craft without an MFA, and lives on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington.