Mare Leonard – 1 poem

Tuning into a Stranger


On the crowded bus from Reykjavik to our flight,

I squeeze close to a woman, who wipes her eyes,

turns to me, home bad  Katowice


She shows me her ticket, 20th hour, a late night.

I wish I could ask how, why, or look into her eyes

on the bus from Reykjavik to our NY flight.


We sit as close as sisters but I can not make it alright.

She points to her heart. Me  Papa  sick.

“I’m so sorry.”      Me go  Katowice.


She loses her glasses on the dark seat

I search, find them,  Tak. She touches my shirt.

The bus rattles from Reykjavik to our flight.


She snaps opens her purse covered in butterflies

 Green and yellow flutter in the opaque light.

Keep this lava rock for good luck tonight.”

This stranger’s part of me like the Icelandic sky.

On the crowded bus from Reykjavik to our flight,

I need to believe Papa will be alive in Katowice.



Mare Leonard’s work has appeared most recently in A Rat’s Ass,  Perfume RiverThe Courtship of Wind,  Bindweed,  Forage, New Verse News, The Chronogram and Communicator’s League  She lives in an old school house overlooking the Rondout Creek.  Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches writing workshops for all ages through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. 

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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