Mother’s Day

CL Bledsoe


I remind my daughter to

make her mother a card

for Mother’s Day. Something

nice, I say, make it when

you’re not mad at her.



To be a good father you must bleed

a trail from silence to work ethic,

something to scrawl on the divorce papers

in place of your name. Everyone has

some great advice that’s never touched air.



My father spent his long days

drinking to escape his forgotten life.

Eyes always cast out over the waters

of tomorrow, he never had anything

to say even about the weather.



After her divorce, my mother stayed

to convalesce at my father’s house.

As she drifted further from home in

her mind, she sat for long hours, staring

out the window, just past the television.



I wonder if I’ll get anything for my

birthday this year, I say while driving

my daughter back to her mother’s.

My daughter stares out the window

at something I’ve forgotten how to see.

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 If You Love Me, You’ll Kill Eric Pelkey and The Devil and Ricky Dan. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.