Welcome

Reese Leyva
Hi. Welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

You’ve stumbled into my collection of poems, short stories, rants and random thoughts on life and love.

Pull up a chair. Sit. Stay. Chat.

I won’t bite. Promise.

The Inevitability of Love

I know that…

After each raging storm
part the gray clouds, spent of rain,
and the sun must bathe the land with warmth again.

I know that…

After the blackest night,
dark with terrors and fears unseen,
dawn must break, turning the fears into a dream.

I know that…

After the waves recede
from the sandy, naked shore
the ocean must return to kiss the beach once more.

I know that…

After the freezing cold
that the bitter winter brings
must emerge the blooming life of blessed spring.

I hope that…

After my heart mourns,
and from despair it’s learned enough,
it will surrender to the inevitability of love.

Because I know that…

After a heart breaks,
splitting you through your tender core,
it grows stronger than it ever was before.

The Mourning Year

In month zero
I mourned the loss
of a child I would never meet.

Then month three came
and I mourned the loss
of the first true home I’d seen.

Month six came
and we mourned the passing
of the man my husband called dad.

In month nine we
shared an anniversary
where we mourned everything we once had.

Month twelve came
and I mourned the death
of my beloved brother and friend.

Month thirteen has arrived
and I’m tired, so tired,
of this mourning that just won’t end.

I’ve lost all perspective
on beauty and hope
and my dreams being held at bay.

But I give thanks for the love
standing strong by my side,
month after month, easing my pain.

Despite all the hard
and the endless tears,
one thing for sure I now know.

This mourning year
gave me one great gift.
I’ve realized I am never alone.

Trish and the Ladybug

When Trish was little she lived in a small house with her grandparents and her older brother, Nanny. In the backyard, Trish and Nanny’s grandfather grew strawberries. Rows and rows of strawberry plants stretched from the back sliding glass door to the high, brown wooden fence.

They were Trish’s first memories, those strawberries.

Trish would wander the garden, waddling on her chunky, toddler legs over uneven soil through the strawberry patches plucking the bright red berries with her clumsy hands. She would grab them, tug them off the magical green plants they grew on, and cram them into her voracious mouth, stuffing them in with her stubby little fingers.

In one such strawberry-related memory Trish recalled Nanny trying to trick her into eating a ladybug. He disguised it as a strawberry.

His fingers snuck the ladybug into Trish’s mouth, but she bit down in an effort to stop him. She told the story over and over, a hundred times through her teenage and young adult years, of her older brother’s cruel treachery. Not until her mid-twenties did she finally muster the courage to confront him.

“You tried to make me eat a ladybug! Do you remember that?!” she asked, feigning disbelief. In truth, her older brother was just crazy enough to do it.

“What are you talking about?!?!” Nanny replied. “I was trying to STOP you! You were trying to eat it and I was trying to save the ladybug from you!”

“Oh,” she replied.

Strawberries were never the same again.

Dear Grief

Dear Grief,
Please don’t take me
to the dungeons beneath your throne.
Don’t make me call your darkness
my new home.

I
love the warmth of sunlight,
scents of blossoming spring air.
I beg you let me find my
way back there.

Don’t
make me your prisoner.
In your caves I cannot breathe.
My soul was meant to soar, please
set me free.

Or
chain me by my ankle
and I’ll rest within the trees.
Let me think I’m free, even if it’s
make-believe.

Normal

I don’t want the kind of normal
in which you don’t exist.

I don’t want the kind of normal
in which all you’ll be is missed.

Don’t make me wake tomorrow
and accept you’ve truly gone.

Don’t ask of me all the good, right things
when your absence is so wrong.

I don’t want to live in an upside down world
of fragile, broken glass.

Asking me to put back all the pieces
is just too much to ask.

I don’t want the kind of normal
where I wake and you’re not there.

That kind of normal isn’t normal at all.
This life is so unfair.

Two Lil Souls

Once upon a time there were two lil souls
sitting on the edge of a cloud.
The first one said, “Let’s have some fun! Let’s go!
Let’s play on the ground!”

The second one said, “I’m worried. I’m scared.”
The first replied, “I’ll keep you safe.”
The second one said, “I dunno. It looks hard.”
The first replied, “I’ll pave the way.”

So the first one jumped down and found a mother
and became a lil boy.
He laughed, he played, he skipped, he sang,
he amassed a mountain of toys.

“Come down,” he called to the second lil soul.
“Life is so great and grand!”
“I’m scared,” the soul said. “I love you,” the boy said,
“I promise I’ll hold your hand.”

The lil soul had faith in the brave lil boy
and decided to give life a whirl.
She leapt off the cloud to the Earth below
and was born a lil girl.

The boy taught the girl how to read and write
and ride a bike real well.
He taught her how to climb real big trees,
and wiped her tears when she fell.

As they got older he taught her to fight, not just stand
like a helpless lil doll.
When other boys started to look at the grown girl
big brother made all those boys crawl.

When big brother had two kids of his own,
sister knew he’d be a great dad.
He’d raised her like she was his child.
He was the best any kid could’ve had.

But then one day big brother got sick
and he went back up to the clouds.
“Where’d you go?” sister said. “Why did you leave?
You promised you’d be around.”

“We’re soulmates, lil sister,” he whispered from heaven.
“Now dry those silly tears.
I’m in the wind and the stars, and when you come back
to our cloud, I’ll be here.”


Dedicated to my beloved big brother, father-figure, and closest friend. May he rest in peace. 1973 – 2014.

Insanity

How do you say sorry to the one who chose to hurt you
because your mere existence caused them pain?

Can you make amends with someone who you’ll never call a good friend
because your wrath is stronger than your shame?

My rage and guilt are sweethearts
holding hands beneath the black stars
of my soul beyond where any hope might shine.

I’ve long forgotten who did
what to whom, exactly why did
I assume that what was yours would soon be mine.

Let me say I’m sorry,
and I hate you, but I’m sorry
to despise you for just being who you are.

I’ll always deeply loathe you
but I must sincerely thank you
for the love your hate awakened in my heart.

How do you say “sorry” to the one who chose to hurt you
because your mere existence caused them pain?

We may never make amends, and we will never become friends
til we learn that you and I are one, the same.