“I Reclaim” by Linda Leedy Schneider

Linda Leedy Schneider


I reclaim the orchard.
Tear down the houses. Plant trees.
I reclaim buds, blossoms and bees.
I reclaim my childhood,

milk in glass bottles
left in a tin box,
frozen cream
that rose to the top.

I reclaim the lid I slid
off popping corn
to delight my dog
who at the evidence,

my father’s lap,
towers of blocks built
for the thrill of their crash,
being able to rebuild
over and over.

I now release the live Monarch
I had to impale and spray
with fixative for Miss Mason
whose wall of breasts fed no one.

I reclaim myself from rows of wooden desks,
crayons I must not peel, arithmetic facts,
soft surplus apples and
“Do not talk in work period.”

I reclaim the girl who refused
to kill a frog for the biology teacher.

I reclaim that girl and the right
to rebuild any tower
over and over again.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006


Linda Leedy Schneider: “I am rebuilding ‘my tower.’ I am a clinical social worker in private practice and college writing instructor. I am moving from pathology to creativity by shifting from my practice to mentoring and coaching pets. Poetry has truly changed my life in many ways!”

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