photo of Darwin statue

The Secret by Jack B. Bedell

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The Secret

—Antieau Gallery, Royal St., NOLA

      1. Her fairy tale of blue sky and quiet bugs
        1. presses itself into the bark of a black tree—
      2. Grasshoppers and mosquito hawks,
          damsel flies and beetles live
      3. this story stitch by stitch, closer
          to the skinny robins in this tree
      4. than any world would allow.
          To keep it all a secret, she binds
      5. her red dove’s head with linen ribbon,
          soft and gentle as a mother’s palm
      6. saving her child’s eyes from blood,
          or sex, or a life too good to lose.
      7.  It’s one thing for the dove to remember
          what it’s seen, another to fly off and share.

Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems (Texas Review Press, 2013). He has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.

Lead image“Darwin” (via Flickr user Cyndy Sims Parr)