Reese LeyvaHow nice of you to stop by!

Below you’ll find poetry and short stories, much of it shamelessly personal. Consider yourself warned, and welcomed. :)

Pull up a chair. Sit. Chat.

I won’t bite. Promise.

Unless you ask nicely.


I think sometimes that it’s not enough
to be just enough
for existence’s sake;

not enough to stand in the wake
of your life rushing off
to greet your fate;

not enough to let moments pass
without taking a chance
‘cuz your hands might shake;

not enough to run from love
for fear that
your heart might break.

What is it that makes you feel alive?

For me, it’s the look in someone else’s eyes
when you talk and they see you,
straight through your lies and sweet alibis,
and still wanna be by your side.

For me, it’s the laughter that heartache brings
three hours after the vodka when the dawn bird sings
and you’ve stayed up talking ’bout crazy things
and you feel like this friend’s given you wings.

For me, it’s the tip-tap of little feet
when my goddaughter announces her pedicure’s complete,
but she’s only two, and it’s so sweet ’cause
she’s pure and innocent and ready to beat
down the doors of this universe, being hardly discreet,
to make the world worship at her feet.

For me, it’s the music that moves my soul,
the poetry that makes me feel whole,
the chaos when life’s outta’ control
and all you can do is just not let go
of what makes you feel,
what makes you real,
what makes dawn break and the world appear,
what makes the earth shake, bringing mortality so near,
what makes love push you past the point of fear,
what makes you bleed,
what makes you tear,
what makes you wanna’ stand up and cheer …

because it’s not enough
to be just enough.

At least, it’s not for me.

Good Morning

Sitting in the quiet of the world,
embraced by the waning dark of night,
I think of you and I want to say -
“Good morning…

Look what joys life continues to bring!
Hear the songs my heart’s learning to sing!”
Then I remember you’re not here on this
good morning.

So I whisper my words to the sky,
as the darkness gives way to the light,
and I still my aching heart,
ever mourning.

Let the day come as it may.
Let life pass, let my soul age.
‘Til we meet again, I’ll greet you in my thoughts
each morning.


We wander this world with wounds,
caused by you
caused by me.

Each time we open our mouths
the other bleeds.
The other bleeds.

You drain me with your whispers
and I end you with my lies.
The truth is even harder to tell.
From honesty, we’d die.

So we wander far away,
far from you
far from me.

To hide the wounds that will not heal.
Let them be.
No one sees.


If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
thanks in my heart.

Thank you for seeing me for who I think I am.
Thank you for seeking, in every moment, to understand.
Thank you for supporting every dream I have planned.
Thank you for telling me I can.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
love in my heart.

I love you for sharing a part of my life.
I love you for listening late into the night.
I love all your strength, kindness, and insight.
I love you for shining so bright.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
truth in my heart.

I don’t know if I’m worthy of your faith,
but I’ll strive to be worthy anyway.
With your support I’m a little less afraid.
In your arms I feel more safe.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
but there’s depths even
words can’t go.

Let me pour myself out
through this pen instead
and give you a piece of
my soul.

Walk with it lightly.
Don’t hold it too tight.
Be gentle. Be tender.
Take care.

Know that, should you need me
to stand by your side,
say the word and
you’ll find me there.

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.