Leigh Chadwick


I’m watching the days bleed into spring.
I don’t know why I used the word bleed,
I hate it, the word, makes me think of school
halls and schoolyards, a teacher as shield,
a student as target practice, an entire
classroom smoking pipe bombs
as a Surgeon General’s Warning on the back
of my eyelids reads Smoking pipe bombs
will lead to loss of limbs and most likely death.
There was a time I used to be happy.
This was before I lost my heart somewhere south
of the Mason Dixon Line. Now, my heart
is on backorder. It’s a supply chain issue, I’m told.
The trees are becoming trees again.
My daughter can now open doors.
It’s frightening how fast a weed can grow,
how quickly a lung can cave, how quiet
we find ourselves escaping.


Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021) and the poetry coloring book This Is How We Learn to Pray, illustrated by Stephanie Kirsten. Her forthcoming books include her debut poetry collection Your Favorite Poet (Malarkey Books, 2022) and the collaborative poetry collection Too Much Tongue (Autofocus, 2022), co-written with Adrienne Marie Barrios. Leigh’s poetry has appeared in Salamander, Passages North, The Indianapolis Review, Identity Theory, Pithead Chapel, and Hobart. She can be found online at www.leighchadwick.com and on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.