“Dance” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

The Dancers - Fernando Botero
The Dancers – Fernando Botero, 1987

“Dance” is one of five wry yet poignant poems by CL Bledsoe in our Summer 2015 issue, which you can order online via Amazon and Createspace. Copies are also available at fine independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop.

{ X }

WE WERE ALL BEAUTIFUL ONCE,
some will be again if we
remember to let ourselves.

Grow your hair long to hide those
scars on your neck, your shoulders;
one day, when no one suspects,

cut it short and see that they’ve
faded. My neighbor only
smiles when she thinks no one can

see, walking her dog, alone
in her car. She’s beautiful
in a way that makes me want

to lose 50 pounds and ask
her to dance. I don’t even
have any interesting

shoes anymore; just nice ones.
The days used to mean so much.
Now, it’s all turn signals, slow

dryers. I’m not making sense;
this girl, she’s not exactly
pretty. I just want to dance.

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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