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Jack Bedell

Summer Fragment, 1

Summer Fragment, 1

So much work to climb the shaft of a pine tree
just to be closer to God, to find that first

branch thick enough to hold your weight,
to feel the tree dance in the wind

and see the tops of all the houses stretch
below you all the way to the horizon, 

your sap-sticky fingers pulling against 
each other, your chest swelling 

with the same fresh air that pushes 
the clouds by against blue sky,

your fear of falling far lighter than 
the fear of landing could ever be.

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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. Jack’s work has appeared in HAD, Heavy FeatherPidgeonholesThe ShoreOkay DonkeyEcoTheoThe Hopper,Terrain, and other journals. His latest collection is Against the Woods’ Dark Trunks (Mercer University Press, 2022). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.

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