Blue Baby – Poetry by Barbara Leonhard

A Woman Holding a Balance – Johannes Vermeer

(in response to Woman Holding a Balance, Johannes Vermeer, 1664)

Mother of Pearl,
amorphous, warm sea.
Bearer of good tidings?
Protection, purity,
a polished life?

She carefully weighs the odds –
not just boy or girl, but survival
in a diseased world bereft
of love, bereaved of loss.

He strays and returns with gems
to soothe salty stares.
Strings of silky pearls
drape as lingerie, disrobe
a swelling chest. Mystery fills
the tough shell.

Blue jewel of lustrous nacre,
a summary of years,                                                
a longsome anchor.
His apologies bare privilege,
laborious tenure.

No weight in the balance
of staying still
she considers

her blue baby.


Barbara Leonhard is a poet at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver.  Her podcast Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul (meelosmom.podbean.com) explores universal themes such as Grief, Kindness, and Presence. She taught writing for many years at the University of Missouri and is the author of Discoveries in Academic Writing. She is also a regular contributor to Free Verse RevolutionPhoebe, MD:Medicine + Poetry and Go Dog Go Café.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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