9 May 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 1

Growing Pains

Mother lying on the couch coughing fire,

the death of applause. Father puddled on the floor,

paycheck spent on modeling glue. Sisters, brothers.

Burn the couch, the television,

memory. My room had two windows, one opened

so close to the ground, you could step through, the other,

an ankle spraining drop. This is why we never took Mom along

when we snuck out. She was always one for falling, propping

herself over the deepest gorge and waiting for the sensors

to push her over. Dr. Seaver, you never came for me. Mike,

you bastard I trusted you. Sat through Left Behind, for your special message

at the end, and it was all about marketing. Carol, I waited,

studied hard and wore glasses till my eyes were ruined

but you disappeared yourself. And Maggie, what is there to say

between the two of us? Is your hair even blond? Your eyes, empty and waiting?

About the author:

C. L. Bledsoe is an editor for Ghoti Magazine. His collection, Anthem, is forthcoming next year.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by C. L. Bledsoe at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 1, where "Growing Pains" ran on May 9, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry, light verse.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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