Hymn to a lost breast

Bonnie Maurer


                        The art of losing isn’t hard to master.”  Elizabeth Bishop



Oh let it fly

let it fling

let it flip like a pancake in the air

let it sing:  what is the song

of one breast flapping?


Send it soaring, a saucer into the autumn sky,

the sweet gum leaves laughing.

Make it a balloon, tie a string,

redyelloworange and one breast sailing.

Stuff it, paint pink roses,

call your reckless needles and pins.


Sew a pocket for grandma’s cards and canasta wins.

Make a purse for her lost buttons and peppermints.

Shape an instrument, pluck its nipple, play it,

squeeze it, hear its

concertina song and let it sing.


Oh I am gone

I am long gone

I am a lazy drift

of milkweed in the air,

daydream somewhere,

atoms returning to the stars.


 [This poem was first published in Nimrod International Journal and was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry.  It also was recently included in Bonnie’s collection, Reconfigured (Finishing Line Press, 2009)]



Bonnie Maurer has an MFA from Indiana University and is the author of Ms Lily Jane Babbitt Before the Ten O’clock Bus from Memphis Ran Over Her, (Raintree Press), Old 37: The Mason Cows (Barnwood Press) and  Bloodletting: A Ritual Poem for Women’s Voices (Ink Press). Bonnie was awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship by the Arts Council of Indianapolis in 2000. Her newest book is Reconfigured (Finishing Line Press, 2009). She works as a poet for Young Audiences of Indiana, as a copy editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal  and as an Ai Chi (aquatic flowing energy) instructor.