Before the divers bring the skull
back to the surface,
they say a quick prayer to Chaac
asking permission to take it.
With others’ bones and jade,
this child had been cast into the hole
to beg rain down from the god’s
hoard of jars. Now, it has
stories to tell of its homeland
and meals. It will be bagged,
again, and carted to a sterile room.
Clay will wake the ghost of its face
and it will find a place to rest
its empty gaze.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, saltfront, and other journals. His latest collection is No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, 2018). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.