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Breath & Shadow

Spring 2012 - Vol. 9, Issue 2

"On Something Stable"

written by

Jude Conlee

I told myself I was happy,

as I walked across the bridge,

making very sure

to keep my hand

on the rail.


I was happy, yes.

Happy to think of nothing

and look down into the water

and see nothing

but my own empty face

looking up as a reflection.


That face could disappear

at any moment,

because the person who held it

could fall –

yes, fall into the water

and never have to deal with the situations

associated with coming back up.


I made very sure to repeat to myself

that I –was--happy, I—was-- happy,

yes, I truly--was.


And it almost made me happy

to think that it was true.


The water, after all,

did not call to me

as much as I’d thought.

There was no call

for me to go anywhere past the bridge’s rail

that I still kept my hand on.


But my only question is, if I was really content to live

and not to fall,

then why did I keep my hand

so very surely on the rail,

as though to keep

myself on something stable

and not to finally fall?

Author Blurb

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