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A Small Bridge

by Kelly Fordon

My father wouldn’t come to my graduation. It had to do with sleeping late and missing Sunday mass. The reason incidental, the decision snap. I ran from the ceremony, down a long, sloping hill past a grade school where I paused and watched children taking turns on the swing and playing Red Rover. I remembered Dodgeball was my favorite game. One time I forced a girl to pull down her underpants. At the end of the road, there was a small bridge. The creek was low enough to jump across, but the bridge made it feel like a portal into a better, more benevolent land. I lay back on a grassy knoll and lit a cigarette. My father was already headed up I-70. My classmates were tossing their caps in the air. I could hear the school children chanting. My father loved me, he loved the Lord, he wanted me to see the light. I saw the light playing across the water. I saw the little girl’s face when I yanked down her pants. Up at the school a child cried out. After awhile, there was nothing left to do but return to my dorm room and pack. I drove all the way across the country that summer. And then I drove back.


Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle, Flashquake, The Windsor Review and various other journals. Her poetry chapbook, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2011 Standing Rock Chapbook Contest and was published in February. Her new poetry chapbook, Tell Me When It Starts to Hurt, will be published by Kattywompus Press in 2013.

In your cover letter, you wrote, “For me, compression means trying to say everything you want to say as succinctly as possible, without sounding trite.” What are some ways you’ve found to accomplish these things? Do you have any specific examples of your process from “A Small Bridge”?

One of the hardest things for me to do is write about pain. Who wants to hear some self-involved person whining? For this piece, I tried to ground the amorphous feeling of betrayal in a time and space and let it speak for itself.

News

Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now CLOSED. Check out our new category triptychs! The next submission period opens September 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
09/02 • Kim Peter Kovac
09/04 • Ugonna-Ora Owoh
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/07 • Briel Felton
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/14 • Frances Badgett
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
10/03 • J.I. Kleinberg
12/02 • Tara Campbell