April/May 2023

Were You There?

By Natasha Bredle

I am practiced in saying no.
Mouths slip into soft shapes;
there is comfort in denial.

Peter knew it too. But he was there.
Boldly. We unsheathed our knives and became
the mistake of the story. What happens

in a garden? A prayer was born and died there,
a psalm as potent as hacked flesh.
Peter said no because he believed his god to be dead.

The scattered seed tells me
I must believe the same. No
slithers out so easily in hushed tones.

I am practiced in lowering my voice.
There is no meaning in ovaled lips;
yet at the crack of dawn my heart crows

with indignance. What happens in a garden?
Seed is sown in good soil, a shell cracks
and falls away. A prayer dies and the mouth closes.

The mouth opens as the prayer is reborn.

About the Author

Natasha Bredle is an emerging Christian writer based in Ohio. Her work has been featured in publications such as Words and Whispers, Heart of Flesh Literary, and The Clay Jar. She has received accolades from the Bennington College Young Writers Awards as well the Adroit Prizes. In addition to poetry and short fiction, she has a passion for longer works and is currently drafting a young adult novel.