Publication · Spillwords

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords


Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   Isn’t easy to do on steep basement stairs. The basket, filled with the bemired nightmares of the day Stubbornly sticking to threads. 58 more words

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords

Thank you Dagmara and the editing staff for this publication in Spillwords!

Healing · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

“Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” Wins Publication of the Month at Spillwords

I am humbled and pleased to tell you that my poem “Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” won Publication of the Month of January/February at Spillwords! Thank you for your votes! The poem will appear in the right sidebar widget this month, March 2022, as you can see if you click the link below.

Your support shows that we do not walk alone in this world. When we reach out to others, they reach back. I’m so grateful. 

Thank you, Dagmara and your editing team, for this opportunity!

The poem is from my as yet unpublished poetic memoir of me and my mother, who had Alzheimer’s. I was her main caregiver.

My memoir explores the many ways in which our lives were entangled. We both experiences brain injuries that burned away memories- hers from Alzheimer’s and mine from encephalitis. And as she cared for me when I almost died from measles encephalitis at age 6 going on 7, I cared for her as Alzheimer’s slowly dissolved her brain.

Also, as the eldest daughter, I was second mommy in command, helping her with the four youngest, who were born between 1958 and 1961! A toddler in diapers, a set of twins, and the last baby. She almost died giving birth to her last, so I enlisted to help with baby care as it took her a year to recover. However, I didn’t know at that time that I was infertile because Mom took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when I was in vitro. My memoir explores the many facets of the ”mother wound” (hers, mine, and ours).

At issue in the memoir is the question my uncle asked me when I told him Mom was moving to be near me. ”Do you love her?”

His question threw me into a crisis. Did I have reasons NOT to love her? How could I care for her otherwise? What had I done to make him doubt my love for her? Was I not a good daughter?

The memoir also explores other triggers. I knew it would be impossible for Mom to live with me for various reasons. My husband and I worked full time, and she couldn’t be alone. I found her a nice independent living facility, where she thrived. Still, had I abandoned her? No, but I think she expected that I would care for her like she did her mother-in-law, who lived with us after experiencing a stroke.

Then, when Mom needed even more care, my brother and I moved her to assisted living, and she was unhappy about that. Regardless of where she lived, I had to be vigilant as problems always came up with her care. I was grateful that she was close and I could watch over her, but I always doubted myself.

This poem is about letting go of the past. Releasing the traumas that bound us together. It’s also about forgiving her and myself for our imperfections.

So this year, I hope to find a publisher for my collection, which I currently call “Three-Penny Memories”. And the reason for this title is another story and too long for this post.

Again, thank you all for your readership and support!


Healing · Honors · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

“Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” – Nominated Publication of the Month at Spillwords

I am honored and grateful to the readers, and Dagmara and her editing staff for yet another honor.

May I have your vote? It would mean the world to me.

You can vote here: https://spillwords.com/vote/

Voting will cease on 3/1 and soon after they will reveal the winner.

Please note, you need to register and/or login to vote.

Here is my poem up for consideration as Publication of the Months of January and February. The format here is incorrect.

Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks

Konmari sees me at Starbucks,

my purse spilling over at the counter.

“May I help?”

She gathers me up

like I’m antique lace

washed too many times.

Before she begins, she whispers,

“Hello, the House,

I am safe. May I enter?”

She pokes through my purse,

pulling out the deck of cards

Mom once carried in her own purse.

A heavy bag of Mom’s pennies

to redeem for cash.

Her checkbook.

The messy old calendar

that listed her appointments

alongside my own.

The quilt she made me,

now falling apart. A cookbook

compiled in her own hand.

Konmari extracts other artifacts,

laying them gently on lined up tables.

People gather. My eyes bleed.

The extra-large pair of panties

Mom made me wear to Sunday school.

The wash, still not done.

A half-used bottle of Diethylstilbestrol,

she was prescribed to prevent spotting

when I was in vitro.

The tricycle she rode

around town at age three

because her mother never watched her.

My cancer scares, scattered

on the bottom of the purse

like cookie crumbs.

The scabs inflicted

by her compression stockings

I failed to wash one last time.

The clump of tissue

I miscarried, swaddled

in an inner pocket.

Her hysterectomy scar.

My hysterectomy scar.

Entwined on a spool.

My t-shaped uterus,

clenching a half-used packet

of Puffs Plus.

A dogeared photo of Mom.

A mirror reflecting

who I want to be.

Konmari has me

hold each item

one last time, saying,

“Thank you, tiny soul,

for sharing your life. I am

grateful.”

She teaches me

how to fold joy

three times.

How to throw out

what I can

no longer carry.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

Image: Pixabay

Awards · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022   The post Spillwords Press Awards 2022 appeared first on Spillwords.

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Thank you, Spillwords Press, for the award, Socialite of the Year Honorary Mention. I appreciate the support that Spillwords gives to authors around the globe. The diversity you offer on your pages helps to unify us, and I’ve made many friends. I look forward to another year with Spillwords.

Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Publication · Spillwords

Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks

New poem up at Spillwords! Thank you Dagmara and the editing staff! This memoir poem is from my poetry collection in progress.

I’m looking for a publisher, by the way. 🙏🙏🙏

This poem, as do many in my collection, explores grief, the Mother Wound, our mother-daughter relationship, letting go, and healing. She suffered from Alzheimer’s, so I held her memories for her, especially her medical history for doctors, prescriptions, shopping lists, and the like. My purse was filled with both our lives intertwining. I was not only her daughter, but also her caregiver and guide.

My collection spans our experiences since my childhood. Mainly the ones that reveal the source of conflict and grief. When I was in vitro, Mom was prescribed diethylstilbestrol (DES), which made me infertile and caused my to have many cancer scares. This drug damaged many lives, as a matter of fact, for both men and women, and if they did manage to have children, their children’s reproductive organs were also malformed, and so their children also has to deal with cancerous tumors.

Mom was able to have seven kids, but I could have none. For some reason, she forgot why – perhaps her memory problems started years before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – and sometimes shamed me for not having kids as she was able to have so many. This was the wound.

Indeed, as the oldest daughter, I helped care for all the ”little ones”, her toddler, a set of twins, and her last baby, all born between 1958 and 1961. Can you imagine? I didn’t realize at the young age of 9 that this would be my only chance to mother babies.

My poetry collection also explores other parallels in our lives. We both experienced brain damage and memory issues, hers from Alzheimer’s and mine from encephalitis, which nearly killed me at the age of 6 going on 7. At that time, she was my caregiver.

Without a doubt, working this collection of poems has been healing as I excavate my past and pick through the artifacts to understand my relationship with my mother and to forgive her, as well as myself, for the wounding. When I realized she would need me to care for her in her final years, I felt an upheaval of unresolved grief, and I knew that I had a great deal of inner work and self care to do so that I could be present to her.

That I had this opportunity to care for Mom and hold her until her last breath was truly a gift.

Honors · Spillwords

I was Nominated for Author of the Year at Spillwords!

My gratitude to the editing staff at Spillwords for this surprising nomination. I am humbled to be listed with the other nominees.

Readers help to determine the winner. Can I get your vote?

Voting begins in the 26th and ends the 30th, and to vote, you must login or register.

Thank you for your vote! You’re the best! 🌹🌹🌹

Healing · Intuitive Listening · Memoir · Publication · Spillwords

The One and Only Real True Santa: A Memoir — Spillwords

The One and Only Real True Santa A Memoir written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   I I was looking forward to the annual church Christmas party in the fellowship hall. 67 more words

The One and Only Real True Santa: A Memoir — Spillwords

Thank you, Spillwords, for publishing my short memoir for your Twelve Days of Christmas series!

Featured Image: one of my collages

Honors · Poetry · Publication · Spillwords

Interview Q&A With Barbara Harris Leonhard — Spillwords

THANK YOU, SPILLWORDS!
Interview Q&A with Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Barbara Harris Leonhard, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of October 2021.   50 more words

Interview Q&A With Barbara Harris Leonhard — Spillwords

Featured Image: Original Digital Art by Martha Harris. Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

Honors · Poetry · Spillwords · Writing

Spillwords’ Author of the Month!

I am so grateful to learn that I am Author of the Month at Spillwords. Thank you to all who voted. I am grateful to Dagmara K., Director of Development / Editing Department, and the editing staff for accepting my poems over the years. Spillwords has definitely played a pivotal role in my development as a poet. Thank you all for following me, for encouraging me, and for reading Spillwords.

The Author of the Month is featured in the right side bar daily. (I found a page with all the poems, my recent interview, and the recent honor all on one page.)

Honors · Poetry · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords · Writing

Big News

I’ve been nominated for Author of the Month at Spillwords! I guess writing poetry while hiding away for almost two years has paid off. May I have your support? To vote, simply click on the link. To vote, you have to register or log in. Voting ends on October 29, 2021.
Thank you all for your support! You’re the best!

Featured Image: pixels.com