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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2015 - Vol. 12, Issue 4

"Love Just A Fairy Tale", "Loss is Grief", and "The Past A Galloping Horse"

written by

Lee Landau

"Love Just A Fairy Tale"


Lighting attached to joists,

spots the distance down.

Ex- lover sits in the first row,

ticket complimentary.


Eyes aghast stare upward,

anxious about aerial missteps.

She leans into a right angle,

now acute, hesitates then

running steps stride on wire.


Each foot partly shares space

with the other, remembers

to move forward, toe to heel,

this trip of endless contortions.


Motion pushes air ahead of each

step down, the right sole in love

with the other rounding on the wire.


Notice, her feet begin to tremble,

she sinks into his smile.

Razor shark teeth open wide.


"Loss Is Grief"


Loss, a string of clichés,

attaches to you with super glue,

hangs on skin, clothes.


Over the horizon a bunch of strings

share your name. You run around

in circles trying to pull away.


Of course, nothing works,

and strings hang

from every part of you.


Loss continues

You nurture grief.


Rather than flowers, you

stake out the past, what’s too heavy

to stand on its own.


Life is like that. Each loss

clings to the next.


Strings adhere to the marionette

you become.


Loss dictates

your every movement,

except that wooden grin.


You grieve sometimes motionless

until strings jerk you awake.


"The Past A Galloping Horse"

I plan tomorrow’s move

 journey to the next future.


Boxes climb the walls like tendrils

of overlooked ivy.


Roses inch up the trellis outside

the back door. All this growth

twenty-five summers

hoeing choke weed,

gardening back bent to the soil,

in later years curved unable to straighten up.

Time whittles the past, token whistles

sound the call to let it go.


How to say farewell to my

dead daughter,


whose death

can never touch this future,


while the past, a galloping horse

heedless of rutted byways,



my same journey.


Too many goodbyes

circle overhead.

Thirty years split between NY, NJ and CT, Lee Landau retired to Minnesota. She writes during the long winter months when this weather sparks her imagination. She spends time in the spring at the Loft Writing Center. In the late spring and summer she submits her poetry for publication. Lee was accepted into the Billy Collins Workshop in July of 2015. Her poetry collection in search of a publisher is titled, Crystal Prism, Fractured Moments. It captures moments of family and individual dysfunction. Lee is a member of League of Minnesota Poets and Poets At Large.

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