Poetry, Essays, and Reflections
MARE LEONARD: Poet & Educator
Mare (a.k.a. Mary) Leonard's poem "La dernière danse des poulets" has just been nominated for The Pushcart Prize, an American literary prize published by Pushcart Press that honors the best poetry, short fiction, essays, etc. published by small presses. Mare also shares her poem "In the Backseat of the Limo."
La dernière danse des poulet
© Mary Leonard
In the Backseat of the Limo
© Mary Leonard
Dad's in the middle, Mom on his right. I'm on his left
We follow the hearse filled with American Beauties,
Baby's Breathe. A cascade of life.
Dad in advanced Alzheimer's sees the roses and asks,
"Caroline died." The beautiful charming, smart girl, your first child who could ride the waves, sweep the ball over the net, roller and ice skate, laugh until she cried, bake a perfect cheese cake, be mistaken for Audrey Hepburn. My older sister. My only sister.
I don't say any of the above. I didn't even think the above.
Every two minutes Dad asks, "Who died?" The first time it felt like a knife slicing open my heart. The pain lessened to punches, to bangs on the head, to the fear before falling,
to a screaming nightmare.
"Dad, Dad, what do you remember about Caroline"?
"Your daughter, Caroline."
"Your first child."
"Your daughter who died."
Previously published in Unbroken (2017)
Mare C. Leonard is a poet, humorist, teacher and journalist. Her poems, essays, short fiction, and mixed genre pieces have been published in numerous journals, including Hubbub, The Chronogram and Blotterature. She is also the author of five chapbooks. Mary was a finalist in the Hill-Stead Museum's Poetry Contest, and she won first prize in the Lucy Cady Lamphier Contest.
Mary has been a dedicated teacher for decades and is known to leave an indelible impression on her students. She has taught at every level, from public high school to Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Since 1988, she has been an associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, where she taught incoming freshmen in the Language and Thinking program from 1990 through 1998. For years, she has taught a summer program for students in grades 10 through 12 at Bard College at Simon's Rock. The Young Writers Workshop is now part of the National Writing and Thinking Network, the largest consortium of summer writing programs in the country.
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