CL Bledsoe: “A Lightness of Feathers”

A Lightness of Feathers

Who among us hasn't broken a collarbone falling
out of a tree after we climbed into a bird's nest
and pretended to be an egg? The ghost of omelets
gone wrong. Something with feathers condemned
to a passing glance. A side table. Somewhere dust
calls home. I’ll rebuild my life with doilies
and photos of surgeries I’d like to have. Did I mention
so-and-so died after a lifetime of regret and forced
choices? Never forget your name is on someone’s
Do Not Love Again list. No matter how you measure
it, you’ll never have what you’ve lost again. Another
name for insouciance. At least you’re not the kind
of bird that kicks the other eggs out of the nest
when you settle in. It’s the small victories keep
us going and coming. That’s how they get you.
I don’t even know what kind of tree it was.

About the Author: Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than thirty books, including the poetry collections Riceland, The Bottle Episode, and his newest, Having a Baby to Save a Marriage, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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Image Credit: Public domain image originally published in Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, London : Academic Press. Image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

CL Bledsoe: “Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?”

Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

The man on the other side of the table
is a variety of sneezes, held together
inside beige by sheer force of lack 
of will. What he’s smelled out there 
is more sensible than me, but I don’t 
so much fault him as marvel at his 
restraint. In the face of all joy, this
man chooses the sour eye. He gets 
excited at the prospect of a new tie 
on father’s day. His hair is a damp 
smattering of crumbs from other 
people’s meals, and he’s proud of 
its pedigree—carries a laminated 
copy. Everything about him is 
something I don’t understand, something
I would avoid at all costs, and vice 
versa, but the difference is he holds 
the soft feathers of my future in his 
sweaty palms and all I hold is the bill.

About the Author: Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in LoveGrief Bacon, and his newest, The Bottle Episode, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue located here: https://medium.com/@howtoeven His own blog, Not Another TV Dad, is located here: https://medium.com/@clbledsoe He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Office Interior” (between 1980 and 1990) The Library of Congress.