Glory Train

May 11, 2018

Today’s poem is “Glory Train” by Sidney Wade. Her seventh collection of poems, Bird Book, was published by Atelier26 Books in September 2017.She taught workshops in Poetry and Translation at the University of Florida’s MFA program for 23 years, and spends part of each year in Rangeley, Maine.

She writes, “I was cleaning the upstairs bedroom in my home in Rangeley, shortly after returning in the spring, when I found this ball of brown fluff on the floor. Had no idea what it was, so I bent to inspect it, blew on the fur, which was the brown fluff, and it all blew away, revealing a perfectly preserved bat skeleton, along with a couple of maggot corpses. It took my breath away, it was so beautiful. And those bones in the wings!!!! finer than the finest of threads.”

Glory Train
by Sidney Wade

Cleaning
house,

I find, in
a dried-out

flower
of brown

froth,
the tiny

skeleton
of a bat.

I set it on
a white plate

and tweeze
debris

from its frame.
The hand-

wing bones
are thin

as veins—
a miracle

of design,
fine almost

to vanishing,
the ephemeral

on which
so much

depends.
The pelvis

is small
as a pushpin,

frailer than
eggshell;

the fragile
vestibule

of the ribs
is clean and

unbroken.
It harbors

eight
desiccated

larvae that had,
rather late,

hopped
aboard

this darkly
upholstered

glory train.
The minuscule

figure hints
at the beautiful

old rhyme
of moon

and ruin,

in which
constellated

hungers twitch
and fly,

feed on each
other and die.

Poem copyright © 2017 Sidney Wade.
Reprinted from Bird Book {poems},
Atelier26 Books, 2017
by permission of Sidney Wade.