Shannon Connor Winward



Such secrets in your lust unearthed
My skeleton made new beneath your hand
Your discovery is my rebirth

I shiver away a blanket of dirt
In your strong arms I yearn to stand
These secrets with your touch unearthed

Years of winter and stillness disperse
My tomb in shards at your command
Discover me, reap my rebirth

As you sift my flesh for worth
My treasures rise to your demand
This secret within the riven earth

My ribs unfold to your determined search
The embers of my relic heart fanned
By yours, the key to my new birth

The scars, the rage of time reversed
A rape, but not quite like you planned
Your blood now feeds the secret earth—
Your discovery is my rebirth



Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter. Her writing has earned recognition in the Writers of the Future Contest and the Delaware Division of the Art Individual Artist Fellowship in literature. Her work has appeared in (or is forthcoming from) Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, The Pedestal Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Enchanted Conversation, Mirror Dance, Literary Mama, Qu, and The Monarch Review, among others. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.



Editor’s Note: The villanelle is accompanied by the image, “Tomb of Téviec. Two skeletons of women between 25 and 35 years of age, dated between – 6740 and – 5680 BP (Mesolithic). They died a violent death, with several head injuries and impacts of arrows. The two bodies were buried with great care in a pit half in the basement rock (underlying or country rock) and half in the kitchen debris that covered them. The tomb is protected by antlers. The grave goods include flint and bone (mainly wild boar) offerings? and funeral jewelry which is made of marine shells drilled and assembled into necklaces, bracelets and ankle rings. Some of the bone objects have engraved lines. Recovery in 1938 restoration 2010.” (Wikipedia)

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