Three bone masks
by Rose Lemberg
The walrus chose me The hunted hunter on the icefloe pours his life into the knife my father calls me inside the boat that sails my blood — he calls me Marrow the walrus shaman, scrimshawed silence polishing my bones with sleeves of shadow The lemming gave me her pelt that makes the needle sing of her in hungry season grandmother stitched me with remnants of her skin, and called me Sinew the lemming shaman scurrying between the worlds to bind her children to life with threads of shadow Forgive me, elders Forgive me, little ones, The white owl chose me alone of kin — she plucked me from your midst into the feathered drum of the wind and called me shaman The white owl chose me she spat me out to dance the truth behind this mask and cast no shadow
Rose Lemberg is an immigrant from three different countries, but is most at home in Berkeley, CA, where she received her doctorate. She currently works as a professor of Nostalgic and Marginal Studies somewhere in the Midwest. Rose's short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, and other venues, and was recently reprinted in People of the Book: A decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her poetry has appeared in Apex, Goblin Fruit, GUD, Jabberwocky, and Mythic Delirium, among other venues, and has been nominated for the Rhysling Award. She edits Stone Telling, a new magazine of boundary-crossing poetry. Rose can be found online here.
When asked whether or not she believed in ghosts, she replied, "I do not believe in ghosts, but I have seen my share."
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