about the author

Leisha Douglas holds a PhD in clinical psychology from The Union Institute, MA MEd in counseling psychology from the Teachers’ College of Columbia University, and an MA in communications from Fairfield University. As a professional psycho-therapist and part-time yoga teacher, she is blessed to help others in their deeply intimate, personal explorations. She has worked in a private psychotherapy practice for over twenty years and has served as a staff member of Cap Juluca’s Mind Body Spirit Program in Anguilla, British West Indies. From 2001 to 2010, she codirected the Katonah Poetry Series with former Poet Laureate Billy Collins and currently serves as poetry consultant to the series committee. She designed and coproduced a poetry program for local high schools called Poetry Live from 2002 to 2004. In 1994, she placed second in the “Grand Dame” short story contest co-sponsored by The New Yorker and Veuve Clicquot. Her chapbook, The Season of Drunken Bees, received special mention in The Comstock Review’s Niles 2009 Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in The Alembic, The Cortland Review, Forge, Ghoti, Ginbender Poetry Review, Hakomi Forum, and Sanskrit.

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Leisha Douglas

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The night was upturned by coyotes—
their breath steam on the windows,
their unearthly chorus.

Today the yard is oddly still.
One lone squirrel ventures forth
like a soldier climbs out of a trench after a battle.

As a child, I avoided the bedroom floor at night
convinced that something savage lurked there.

Today, every time I go up and down the barn stairs,
I scan the oaks and maples for lean skulking forms.

How quickly the animal within resurrects—
as if fear is the foundation
the cerebral cortex,
alluring, decorative
but barely useful.

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