Posted in childhood, poetry

The End of Summer

The End of Summer  This isn’t working,  trying to write this poem about the end of summer, the innocence walked and lost,  the giggles of kissing a boy on the cheek underneath the playground slide, holding hands in secret, when sundresses were sweet, bad haircuts were accepted, expected, and no one cared if ice cream dripped down elbows.  I don’t want to be that poet that’s trapped in childhood, recounting expected images, accept that nothing about growing up in a suburban middle class family was unique. We all caught fireflies in jars at dusk and walked through neighborhoods to the pool, jumped off swing sets  and drew lines in mulch to see who landed further.   In my head I’m still the girl with sun kissed cheeks, freckles of youth dotting my nose, craving popsicles,  casting my arms out in a T and twirling until I’m so dizzy my laugh cramps in my stomach, but it’s the end of the summer and there’s a weird emptiness beneath my heart.  Nothing’s the same as it used to be.   —Leanne Rebecca

Nostalgia central.

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Posted in love, poetry

Always and Forever

Always and Forever  I don’t know how I forgot about that book. I saw it in the window of a used bookstore last week, stumbling into childhood nostalgia as if jumping into a puddle, both feet all at once, splashed by  flashes of of my mom cradling me in her arms, singing the made up melody to the song in that forgotten book.   I’m amazed I learned to sleep without her hug, without her voice rocking me into dreams, without the comfort of a mother in the room down the hall, amazed I could wake without the gentle coaxing of her singing and the warmth of her arms holding me, assuring me that she’d keep me safe.  Wake up Leanne, wake up Leanne, wake up, wake up, wake up, she’d sing, coaxing my eyes to open, teaching me through song how to fill a room with love, and bright eyed soak it up with the morning sun. I always felt ready for the day, nurtured by her hand in mine, fingers always and forever intertwined until the moment she knew she could let go, taking off the training wheels to my bicycle, and watch me ride alone.   —Leanne Rebecca

I write this poem with extreme thanks for the blessed life that I’ve led, a carefree childhood and loving family. I recognize that Mother’s Day isn’t rainbows and butterflies for many people: mothers that have lost their children, children that have lost their mothers, broken families, reality. Even in my family, there’s an element of sadness on this day. My parents buried their first child when she was 16 months old. This is also the first Mother’s Day since my Grandma Genny died.

It’s easy to forget that many many emotions surround this day and where one family smiles another might cry. It’s important to empathize and take a moment to think about the true weight of this day. I find it allows me to appreciate what I have that much more. I’m beyond thankful to be filled with so much love.

I love you, Mom.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Scars

Scars  It’s been enough years that the emotions have died in time.   I remember the day like I would a news story— facts blocked in a reel, a non-biased documentary framing a girl and her brush with death, her fear and loss of childhood.  I grew up in acceptance of new routine, ignoring diminished dignity moving past the stages of self-pity, and learned not to question misfortune.  No one would know the stories behind these scars, would know about the scars at all, scars hidden under t-shirts, the only evidence I’m slightly broken.

I write about this once a year and once a year only. Fourteen years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember that day in chunks: when my pediatrician told us to drive to the hospital, when the nurse weighed me and commented that I was skin and bones, when I had to pee so badly as they were admitting me that I almost went in my pants, the first shot they gave me, the first shot I gave myself, sobbing in my mom’s arms in my dark hospital room, convinced that I’d never be able to eat pizza again.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t one of those diseases that people know you have. Aside from insulin pumps and hordes of empty juice boxes, we’re undetectable. I don’t hide my condition, but I don’t bring it up either. It’s a part of me now, locked into every moment of every day, burned into my routine, into my history, and into my future.

This is my confessional. Sometimes I’m still embarrassed to bring out my insulin pump at the dinner table, even with my closest friends. It’s been fourteen years and I still struggle with dosing food correctly. I don’t like to admit when I don’t feel well and I cancel doctor’s appointments when I’ve had trouble controlling my blood sugars just so my doctor won’t find out that I’m “failing” at being a good diabetic.

I’m not shy about my disease. I always welcome conversation and questions and will share my stories to anyone that cares to ask. It’s a strange dichotomy: being an open book that’s shoved inside a backpack.

Thanks for listening to my D-Day story. I guarantee next March 26th will reveal another chapter.

-Leanne Rebecca

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Posted in art, poetry, writing

Addicted to Disney

Addicted to DisneyThis one’s an oldie. I just watched Mirror Mirror, a silly take on Snow White starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, so it seemed like an appropriate throwback. It was published in Pastiche Magazine (a small online journal) last summer during my run as their featured poet for the month of July. It’s strange to look back at previous writings. It’s hard not to judge myself and also bittersweet to experience the emotions from a distance, especially poems that dive into dark scary places I never want to visit again. I think it’s important to look back though and see how far I’ve grown in so many aspects of my self and my work.

A question to my fellow writers:

Do you ever look back at old work and do you find it difficult to look at it objectively?

Oh, and follow me on Twitter. …please.