The Nearness of Art

She made Adam
marking his shins
and cheekbones
the striations of muscles
his rib cage his hair
she sculpted him

from the mussel shells
of the Atlantic,
ebony cobalt,
she sculpted him

using only nature’s gifts —
coral flowers bones
the skull of a springbok–
she sculpted him

for 15 years she sculpted
Adam, grinding shells —
each day
she became sicker
losing her hearing
and still she sculpted,
building Adam,
from her “memory of joy”
drilling shells laced
with lead and arsenic

by her own hands
her own

Note: This poem is based on the Canadian sculptor, Gillian Genser https://torontolife.com/life/my-beautiful-death/

Deborah Leipziger

Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, and advisor on sustainability. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on sustainability and human rights. Her poems have been published in eight countries, in such magazines and journals as Pangyrus, Salamander, Lily Poetry Review, and Revista Cardenal. She is the co-founder of Soul-Lit, an on-line poetry magazine. Her new collection of poems, Story & Bone, was published in early 2023 by Lily Poetry Review Books. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her work appears in numerous anthologies, including Tree Lines: 21st Century American Poems.

Time is Catching Up