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You’re there, but you’re not.
You glance behind every so often,
to those words you said as a kid.
That bath water. That hymn.
The fence sags slightly
beneath your weight. Lichen
blooms on the vertical staffs,
a monochromatic flower bed.
Tethered. Clinging.
Strange how you don’t cling,
as if ready to gently fall forward
into the world you’ve been pawning.
No one needs redemption
anymore. You can get from here
to there without it, easily enough.
Here. You’re here, but you’re not.
Before, you moved your mouth
with the ghost of a testimony,
stuttering. It sounds strange.
On the verge of apology. It sounds
like heaven. Or it did to you, once.
But now you’re too afraid, too okay,
so you’ll stay perched right
here, in full view of spring grass
and seafoam sky, lukewarm breeze
entering your lungs like something
that could’ve once been divine.
So far the fence remains steady.
It’s natural, the wood crumbling.
There is no need to move,
nothing more to pursue
on this tight-lipped curb, this rim
of belief.

Photo by Menash Cohen on Unsplash

Natasha Bredle

Natasha Bredle is a Christian writer based in Cincinnati. Her work has been featured in publications such as Words and Whispers, Heart of Flesh, and Foreshadow. She edits the As Surely As the Sun literary journal.