I Fear Me This - is loneliness -, poetry by Barbara Harris Leonhard at Spillwords.com
Ekaterina Astakhova

I Fear Me This – Is Loneliness –

I Fear Me This – is loneliness –

written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard



-Emily Dickinson, “The Loneliness One dare not sound-

Emily, you sought your solitude
at your desk by a bedroom window,
composing poems and letters to the world
that never wrote to you.

My room, a solitary sanctuary
with a view to the street.
I compose notes with blessings
to lift others up during this tender time
of ire and illness.

Your seclusion, Emily, chosen
from grief and loss.

Mine, too, as I hear of deaths.
Families felled by COVID.
Strain after strain.
Again and again.

Occasionally you lowered
baked goods in baskets to children
celebrating innocent sun.

I watch children in our neighborhood park
attempt a great escape
down small slopes of ice
to the creek.

Outside your winter sky
hid cold birds in a haze

like the masks we should wear these days
to spare our lives.

You wished to help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again.

At my window daily, a solitary robin
smacks his body into his own reflection.
Repeatedly – My fear of death
mutates into chaos.

For you, Emily,
a garden of grief bloomed
a leather-bound herbarium. Sorrow plucked
and pressed between flimsies.

On my notes and poems, I press stickers
of wildflowers and butterflies. My handwriting
meanders in my tiny gardens of verse
that snail mail delivers to loved ones
in pearly shells.

Our windows – glassy protection from what waits
in the soul’s Caverns and its Corridors
that can Illuminate-or seal-.

As our stars rage their light
into gossamer tears –
our pens open
many doors.

Barbara Harris Leonhard

Barbara Harris Leonhard

OCTOBER 2021 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Barbara is author of the Amazon best-selling poetry collection Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF- Experiments in Fiction, 2022). A poem from this collection was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022. Also, on Spillwords, Barbara was voted Author of the Month of October 2021, nominated Author of the Year for 2021, and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. In November 2022, she became Editor for MasticadoresUSA. Barbara enjoys bringing writers together and has been sponsoring open mics and readings on Zoom during the pandemic.
Barbara Harris Leonhard

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