Bog Man

(five points to the first person to guess who this poem is a shameless imitation of…)

A bog man lies in a glass case
in a museum on
this or that side of the border.
Curled in on himself, as if
he was dredged up when the soft earth
was halfway through taking him back,
black mass of mire pressing in on him,
quiet and dark, until his eyes
were crusted shut with it.
His ribs are little ridges under the surface,
forced apart by that brutal weight,
that slow violence –
the skin of him gone leathery with it,
gone hard.
Impossible now to tell
what hot arms held him,
what thrown stones haunted him,
what red hands burned
in him or on him,
what hymns followed him
down into the earth.

Here he is, tarred and choked
and sacrificed.
And there am I
on the other side of the glass,
looking.

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