Brick pillars defined its limits.

Square, small, docked

like a small lifeboat

trailing behind her ship of a home

in the vast green sea of her lawn.


Grandma and I ate our

buttered toast without crusts

sitting at a steel

cafe table.


Afterwards, she

stood and


crumbs and crusts

onto that green sea of a lawn.


“Come!” she called.

Every sparrow in the world


My Grandma

could summon birds

from an empty sky!


One morning

curiosity trumped awe.

“How do they hear you?”


Smiling, she answered

“Everyone hears

when called to table.”




Joan Leotta has been playing with words through writing and performing since childhood. Her “motto” is “encouraging words through pen and performance.” Her award-winning poetry, short stories, books, and articles have appeared in many journals, magazines, and newspapers. Joan recently completed a month as one of Tupelo Press’ 30/30 poets. She has work forthcoming in Knox Literary Magazine, and Eastern Iowa Review. She performs folklore and one-woman shows on historic figures in schools, libraries, museums, and at festivals. Joan lives in Calabash, North Carolina with her husband Joe. You can learn more about her work and reach her through www.joanleotta.wordpress.com. You can like her on Facebook here.