Natasha Bredle

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How Beautiful the Feet

Ankles twisted in a snare, metal
buckled to wood. Iron, I can only
imagine. Iron, like what fists
are supposed to be. Cold hard red hot
fists. Iron. Trapping open hands
in a helpless position. Ankles. Twisted.
Flesh raw. Toes blue. Downturned.
Dripping. Dripping red blood softly.

Once, a man called them beautiful.
A man who tore his clothes to signify
a people’s defeat. The prodigal’s exile.
How beautiful the feet, he said,
of the one who brings good news.
Good. A shadow draping the land
in darkness. Temple pillars shuddering.
News. A purple robe pirouetting
into a gutter. The sky opening.

For now, a strange land divides the kin.
For now, no king tears down
the high places. But the man caught
a glimpse: Ankles twisted in a snare,
metal buckled to wood. Gold, I can only
imagine. Gold soon to pave the streets
for the broken, scarred feet I can only
call beautiful.

Natasha Bredle is a young writer based in Ohio. Her work has been featured in publications such as Words and Whispers, Polyphony Lit, and The Lumiere Review. 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.

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Image is in the Public Domain.

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