POETRY READING: Leopard Club Love, by Franco D’Alessandro

Performed by Allison Kampf


by Franco D’Alessandro

I’ve loved you like a leopard cub from the day

You stalked into my classroom -flip-flopping

Around the circle of desks- staring at me,

Wondering aloud: “who the hell is this guy?”

You were a problem child I wanted to solve;

So I picked you up and carried you in my gritted teeth,

Slapped you around with a tender paw until you fell into line.

You were just like a lost leopard cub, separated from family,

The one that had a twin but needed to be on his own.

We’re leopards, you and me -social, secretive, and solitary.

But when I spotted you alone,

Laid out -paralyzed- on the ground,

I lept down from my classroom tree

And roared onto the field, to protect you, my cub,

Who, somehow, unreasonably, seemed a part of me.

You crashed like a meteor, at 14, into my life

On that too-hot September day and began to wreak your happy havoc

In a stagnant place that unknowingly longed for you.

Like Odysseus readily recognized his long lost Telemachus,

We knew our souls knew each other.

I still don’t know why I chose you -and you, me-

To let in.

When you asked me to “bring it in”… I held you for that first hug,

I suddenly knew that what life, loss, and lost love

Had long denied me, destiny had laughingly fulfilled.

You were a missing piece I pretended wasn’t necessary.

You accepted my almost barren, childless heart -I thought unworthy of a son’s love.

But answered prayers have a way of walking into

Our empty rooms so quietly.

Your trust I’ve cherished holding;

Pieces of you I carry like secret treasures unfolding.

You -not of my flesh but of my soul;

That silent prayer that -in being answered-

Made me whole.


Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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