The Bone Keeper

© Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

I have cleaned my closet
of all of the bones
to make room
for wispy summer dresses.
I wrapped those bones
in shame
and tucked them deep
into bags of guilt.
With the strings of regret
I tied the bags closed
and knotted them
with resentment.
I lifted the bags
one by one,
the weight of their bitterness
trying to crush me,
and I carried them
to the spot
where the bend finally breaks.
I dug deep to pull strength
to shred earth.
And I dug.
Passed coffins and fossils
I didn’t stop until I hit
never again.
My twisted arms
were mighty
when I pulled myself out
of that pit.
And as I stood
I exhaled gratitude
and let the bags fall
into the abyss,
no longer the keeper
of your bones.


Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons is the creator of The Lithium Chronicles, the popular Facebook page that brings awareness to mental illness and support to those who need it. She was a columnist for the national online magazine, PsychCentral, and has been a guest contributor to the website The Mighty and The International Bipolar Foundation. Nicole has been a featured writer for the OCH Literary Society, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Sidereal Catalyst, among others. Nicole's The Lithium Chronicles website features her own poetry and prose, as well as the work of upcoming and established artists and was added to the Mental Health Writer’s Guild in 2015. She has been nominated for two consecutive years in six different categories for The Wego Health Activist awards, recognized for her work as a fierce mental health advocate and an advocate for others, as well as having built an exceptional supportive online community with The Lithium Chronicles. She is a published author in both Feminine Collective’s Raw & Unfiltered VOL I and The Stigma Fighters Anthology Volume One. Nicole is a hippie at heart with a bohemian soul who believes that the world can be changed by one random act of kindness at a time. She lives a good life in Beautiful British Columbia with her brilliant daughters and gorgeous husband. In her free time Nicole volunteers with a Canadian nonprofit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention, and hangs out with her best friend, a 170lb bullmastiff named Capone.

12 thoughts on “The Bone Keeper

  1. Nicole LyonsNicole Lyons

    Thank you so much, Lizzi. It took me a very long time to get to the point where I could write those words – truthfully. It’s a good feeling.

    Xo N

  2. Gina Thomas

    Nicole, This has to be one of my absolute favorite from you. Your words in this piece, especially powerful!

  3. doriowendoriowen

    Nicole, I just don’t know where you find these haunting words that speak on so many levels. I read them once, twice, and then once again, to memorize my favorite parts. So beautiful.

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