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Reaching the Bones

I thought I’d share this poem I wrote a couple of years ago. It was inspired by Pinkola Estes’ telling of the La Loba story–the woman who sings over the bones.




Bone Sister

Here She comes again.

Looking like the twisted pages of a paperback trash novel.

Yellow and sharp but still some crumbly, too.

Bone Sister rides a nice car. One of those sleek and silver Lexus things

With black leather seats.

The turn signals work good

But She don’t use them.

She don’t like people knowing which way

She plans to head next.

Your way?

My way?

Her own way, that is for sure no lie.

Bone Sister wears a nice coat. A long black leather one.

She got it at the fine thrift store downtown.

And it fits good.

But She don’t button it.

She likes to feel the sharp wind on Her ribs

And the way the sides flap behind Her

As She goes.

Your way?

My way?

Her own way, that is for sure no lie.

In the hill country,

In the hard country,

We call Her Bone Sister.

We call Her White Mamaw.

We call Her Plumb-Killt Woman.

We call Her.

But She don’t come

Til She wants to.

H. Byron Ballard
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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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