Poem 313 ± April 12, 2016

Lesléa Newman
Looking at Her

Yes, I was looking at her
Yes, I knew her very well
Yes, I had lived inside of her
Yes, I had lived outside of her
Yes, she had fed me and clothed me
Yes, she had rocked me and soothed me
Yes, I had brought her much pleasure
Yes, I had brought her much pain
Yes, we had fought with great fury
Yes, we had kissed and made up
Yes, I had moved far away from her
Yes, I remained very close to her
Yes, that day I was looking at her
Yes, she was stiff and unmoving
Yes, she was dressed in a shroud
Yes, her two lips stitched together
Yes, her two eyelids sewn shut
Yes, I bent over her casket
Yes, I applied her pink lipstick
Yes, I brushed blush on her cheekbones
Yes, the farewell the departure
Yes, the silence the longing
Yes, I was with and without her
Yes, I was looking at her


Leslea NewmanLesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages including the children’s classic, Heather Has Two Mommies, the short story collection, A Letter to Harvey Milk, and the novel-in-verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Her newest poetry collection is I Carry My Mother (Headmistress Press, 2015). Lesléa’s awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. From 2008 to 2010 Lesléa served as the poet laureate of Northampton, Mass. She teaches at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program.

“Looking at Her” copyright © 2015 by Lesléa Newman from I Carry My Mother (Headmistress Press, Sequim, WA). Used by permission of the author.