My Hair Eats Everything, poetry by Barbara Harris Leonhard at
Juli Kosolapova

My Hair Eats Everything

My Hair Eats Everything

written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard


Silver pelage. Static cling
Velcro mouth gulping my life.
My hair, a pantry of my days.
Famished patron of my past.
It shows in my sheen, the shine
Of a clean plate.

Baby hair matted with egg,
Pureed peas, sour milk, spaghetti sauce,
Bits of cereal. Mom’s cleansing spit
Over my crown. Kisses planted
In the soil of my hair. Luster of life
Grows into a hungry coif.

The long stems of flowers
Woven into braids. My first perfume,
Splashes of hot lavender baths,
Swashes of wet polish, and Dippity-Do
Cling to my curls and create a crown
Of a complex banquet.

Grandpa’s musty garage, his yard
Of lake breeze. The smell of sand
Tangles my hair into my mouth.
The steam of Grandma’s fried sausage, rising dough,
Stewed chicken, spilled honey from toast,
Dad’s Old Spice snared by my hair.

Sweat from the Ex’s hands
His bad breath on my frizz.
Bloody spittle of squabble,
His ashtray, blight of air,
Day-old wine and stale beer
Linger on my dead ends

Mother’s ambrosia steeps
My life, the whiff of her red lipstick,
Her aromatic apron, her savory hugs,
Her last breath as I held the phone
To her ear for goodbyes. The anguish
Of her affliction infuses me.

My hair swells fragrance
Of holy spring rain. Tiny fingers of new leaves
Sniff of pin oak to my roots. Sticky juice
Of tomato vines cling to my gray locks
As I reach for the fruit. Strands of silver
Extend from cloud. The scent of sun.

Barbara Harris Leonhard

Barbara Harris Leonhard

Barbara Leonhard’s work appears in various online and print publications, and anthologies. The most recent anthology, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (Ed. Gabriela Marie Milton, 2022) was a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Barbara earned both third place and honorary mention for two poems in Well Versed 2021. Her premier poetry collection, Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir, which is about her relationship with her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, will be published October 2022 by EIF - Experiments in Fiction. From that memoir collection, her poem “Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” was voted Spillwords Publication of the Month of January and February 2022. Barbara was also voted Spillwords Author of the Month of October 2021 and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. Barbara enjoys hosting Zoom gatherings for poets. You can follow her on WordPress - Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver.
Barbara Harris Leonhard

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