mummified by moss, preserved in peat wiser than Egypt
            beneath the spongy hills of the boglands they sleep
marinating in humic acids and sphagnum, unlucky in life
            all-too-lucky in death, an army of one-thousand elect
the bog people: some shot by arrows tipped with rock or bone
            some stabbed to death, the curved apertures of their wounds
still cruelly smiling, others strangled by ropes and fabrics still intact
            many naked with their clothes lying neatly folded nearby
like unresurrected christs asleep through centuries of Sundays
            one man’s furrowed brow remains worried to this day
marked by four rows across his forehead, dug by the plow of time
            and pain, Neolithic, Bronze Age or Iron, medieval or Victorian
brothers and sisters now, they dot the land like the shells of cicadas
            whose souls have flown out of their backs leaving behind
black bodies aflame with red hair, cast aside they remain incorruptible
            as saints, martyrs of human suffering that always looks the same

— Jacob Friesenhahn teaches Religious Studies and Philosophy at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. His poems have appeared in BOMBFIRE, Burrow, Calla Press, Canary, The Lake Front, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Litbreak Magazine, and Nostalgia Press.

Posted in