After “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

We were the ones who readied the stones for her arrival.
It was done with love, we must never forget that.
It was blood magic;
her mother had gone before her, howling.
Like Jezebel into the pit of dogs.
Birds migrating across the sky above us,
moon blooming as an onion.
We must remind ourselves
that this is what she wanted.
To be given back to the earth,
spine arched like thread,
body open.
Begging for it, as we gathered and threw,
gathered and threw.
When it was all over, there was nothing
still girl about her.
Just an endless line of horizon
we could not bring ourselves to face.

Meggie Royer is a Midwest writer and photographer. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her writing, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.