by CL Bledsoe

A fuzzy-headed daisy, shocking the humus
of my little life, the eye is drawn and can’t
help but delight in your color.

I set down the corpse of my long-dead world,
to better see you tumble across the living
room. Your wrists are thinner

than my hopes. I hope you never understand
any of this. Just know that when you wake,
it’s enough, and, when you sleep,

the quiet holds its breath so as not to disturb. 
You say, “I don’t want to learn right now!”
When I try to tell you stories

of the dead, though living. Later, you settle
into the back seat and say, “Tell me a story
about the time Aunt Cookie moved all

the furniture out of your parents’ bedroom
into her own.” I dodge potholes, interjecting plot
points with curses and tell a story about the woods

I used to hide in. You deserve more than
the dying world I’ve given you. But it’s all
we have. Let’s make a new one.

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 Love, Grief 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.