First, Savannah with her pen.

I cut my fingernails short,

scatter the clippings

like seeds, what

will grow from this?


Then, Savannah with her paper

waits to hear me say,

“My father left when I was very young.”

I cut my hair short,

keep it all for mulch.


Savannah in her coat.

Fresh dairy,

geese flying north again.

Lilies for eyes.

Lilies for everything.




John Leo's writing has appeared in 2River View, NoiseMedium, and Bareknuckle Poet. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Josephine K. Piercy Award. He currently lives in Indianapolis, where he is a teaching fellow and MFA candidate at Butler University.