Saturday, July 29, 2023



by Lesléa Newman

                        for P.M.

Sorrow settles on the sofa beside me
like my fat calico cat who circles
three times, not knowing where to turn
before she thuds down heavily
her rump thumped against my thigh
fur to flesh, seeking and offering comfort.
It’s winter. I hold your hat in my lap,
worn and blue and still smelling
faintly of cigarettes and you.
The clock ticks loudly.
The cat snores softly.
The sky outside my window wanders
from black to bronze to blue.
I’m older than I’ve ever been
and I’ll never be this young again.
And the only one I want
to tell this to is you.

* * * * *

Lesléa Newman has created 80 books for readers of all ages, including the dual memoir-in-verse, I Carry My Mother and I Wish My Father, and the novel-in-verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008 - 2010, she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. In September, Always Matt: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard, a fully illustrated book-length poem about the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard will be published by Abrams ComicArts.

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