Literature Reviews

Poetry Review: Bones in the Garden

bones in the gardenRating: ★★★★★

Title: Bones in the Garden

Author: McKayla DeBonis

Genre: Poetry

Publication Date: 21 May 2017

Publisher: Amazon Createspace

Where to buy: Bones in the Garden

Summary: “Here lies the anatomy of the first Heartbreak. But, take my advice, you can grow, you can heal, you can learn, no matter what. Just pick yourself up and keep going.” (Source:

The (here come the tears) Good

Bones in the Garden is a poetry collection that I instantly identified with. McKayla DeBonis’ poetry book was darker than I expected, nonetheless, the whole collection was immersive. Tears started to form from the very beginning of reading this, and that is when I knew I was in for a ride. DeBonis’ themes of growth and neglect are conveyed through the symbolism of the garden. I was incredibly moved and harrowed by some of the flower imagery; DeBonis expresses the duality of creation and destruction beautifully.

In my eyes you saw my fire so

you doused me in gasoline

igniting me alive

(Even after all this time it will always be you, p.43)

This is one of the poems which struck me as its resolution was unexpected. Note how Debonis writes “alive” when you would assume being lit on fire would mean death, but then again, it could simply mean the person was lit on fire while they were alive but, isn’t that obvious?

Why did I read it?

I discovered McKayla’s work through Twitter, where I first befriended her. Bones in the Garden is a somewhat disturbing phrase for a title, I was intrigued to know how it was incorporated into the collection.

Does the author have other works?

McKayla DeBonis has released another poetry collection called Temporary Storms. At the moment, McKayla DeBonis is working on her first novel: The Below.


Bones in the Garden is the rose and the thorns. It is not easy to read due to its powerful emotions, but it is incredibly worthwhile.

– Melissa Jennings


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