Sheila-Na-Gig online


John Leonard

john leonardJohn Leonard is a writing professor and assistant editor of Twyckenham Notes, a poetry journal based out of South Bend, Indiana. He holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University. His previous works have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, Sheila-Na-Gig online, Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Rockvale Review, Blue Earth Review, Neologism, Anti-Heroin Chic, PoeticDiversity and Burningword Literary Journal. His work is forthcoming in Chiron Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Roanoke Review, Rock & Sling and Genre: Urban Arts. John was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Wolfson Poetry Award, 2018 recipient of the Josephine K. Piercy Memorial Award, and the 2019 recipient of the David E. Albright Memorial Award and Hatfield Merit Award. He lives in Elkhart, Indiana with his wife, three cats, and two dogs. You can find him on Twitter at @jotyleon.


The clouds kept coming to see her.
You didn’t know why  and you didn’t
want to guess anymore.  There was dust
on the windowsill  the kind you get
when an old house starts to settle in
for a long winter  pollen and fibers
minerals and dead skin cells that act
like rings of age  a way to tell the time
when your wife’s hands became too hard
to look at.  It was the only windowsill
you chose not to clean  left alone
in an upstairs room she couldn’t visit
and you only went in to inspect the dust
tried so hard not to look through the glass
to see the garden you both would play in
and those clouds with their pinched gray
faces  swollen with excitement  as if
saying to each other   Any day now

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