My mother loved to tell company
how my father won the talent contest
at his high school senior year
singing Sinatra in the same suit
and tie he wore for their wedding.
Hearing her tell that to folks
over and again, it always
struck me how he never, ever,
sang to us. He kept a stack
of 78s next to his work bench
in the garage, though, and
whenever his table saw
was spinning, he’d let his voice
free to cut straight through it.
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 Feather, Pidgeonholes, The Phare, Moist, Autofocus, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, and other journals. He’s also had pieces included in Best Microfiction and Best Spiritual Literature. His latest collection is Against the Woods’ Dark Trunks (Mercer University Press, 2022). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.