Poetry by Lisa Creech Bledsoe : Toadskin

Poetry by Lisa Creech Bledsoe : Toadskin


I can’t tell you how many times
I’ve stood on the bridge to throw stones,
every one landing in the mud, burying itself slowly beneath
watercress and wood nettles

It seems aimless I know
and the crows have taken to gathering to cheer or cackle—
We watch each other warily and though I have a few secret tricks
they know I am no threat

I wish I could dance and make swans flush from my sleeves,
a carpet so marvelous it can only be told in a poem
or bread with stories carved in its clever crust

There are things which must be done
and I cannot seem to do them
my pockets empty of fortunes
bones, threes, and nines

There is a certain charm to getting into a yaga’s hut

If the time is right the words will sing themselves
then dissolve on the tongue of a hungry sea

What I’m saying is doors will open for you

Ignore the only fencepost without a smirking skull
           — that doesn’t mean it’s for you
and enter if you can stand the smell,
if the ghosts don’t hammer your fingers from the doorframe

You really must go in, otherwise you may as well be home
throwing stones

An imperious nature may at least get you a meal and bath
before everything tears itself to quilt scraps

Just know

You may spend a lifetime recovering your own skin
only to find it no longer fits