Photo by Pison Jaujip

Warrior princess at five years old, a bath towel
safety-pinned around her neck to billow as she dashed

through the house in scuffed white sneaks, blown-out-
knee jeans, and a county fair tee shirt. Pursued

by a furious Hippolyta yelling to quit running in
and out of the kitchen while I’m canning preserves!

She vaulted out the front door, over the steps, landed
in quaking grass on one knee, then rose, ready

for evildoers, be they ninja, robot, or school teacher.
When Wonder Woman cracked her Lasso of Truth,

fathers couldn’t promise they’d be home early but roll
in loaded, late, and ready to fight. Mothers

couldn’t spend all day watching soap operas while
their deific daughters ran wild and bored. Her golden

bracelets deflected ballistic language shot from cruel
lips. Her tiara could cut through the mundaneness

of any day. An Amazonian warrior needed no help
from any man; only the goddesses who granted

her strength. From her invisible plane, perched
in the pecan tree’s shedding limbs, she could look

down on the weak world while no one could see her.

CL Bledsoe is the author of a dozen books, most recently the novel, Man of Clay, and the poetry collection, Riceland. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize thirteen times, Best of the Net three times, and had two stories selected as Notable Stories of the Year by Story South‘s Million Writer’s Award. Bledsoe has published stories, poems, essays, plays, and reviews in hundreds of journals and websites, including The Cimarron Review, The Arkansas Review, Pank, Nimrod, New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, Gargoyle, The Hollins Critic, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), Hobart, The Pedestal Magazine, and many others. Originally from a rice farm in eastern Arkansas, Bledsoe now lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

Back to Table of Contents