Offcourse Literary Journal

Poems, by Louisa Howerow.


I begin with a confession:
                                         I'm a novice
in the horoscope game, but I do understand
that once the sun moves out, I won't find it easy
to put feelings into words. If there's a need to
speak, now's the time:
                                        I've been plucking the spring violets
sprouting on my belly, arranging them in green
glass vases, one for every room in the house.
I'm convinced the flowers came from you and I would hate
to see the silken scent of petals disappear.

I'm asking for a postponement: don't leave until
I learn to sow my bed. It may take time, more time.



First Day of Spring.

Denuded oaks, a morning sky raked
gray. Underwear needs washing, bottles
blue-boxed. Snow droppings on the lawn.
Wool blanket sadness: your flaccid hand
nests between my legs. We place bets,

the odds on winter fencing us in
one more week. You say, 'Two.'
Stir crazy, I check for mail —postmen
here don't ring —card from Jamaica or
Saint Tropez. That's when I find crowded

against the concrete steps purple and
yellow crocuses, petal-wrapped cones
waiting to unfold, urging the sun
to follow suit, out Spring. 'Love,'
I shout at mouth's door, 'all bets are off.'


Wooden Easter Egg.

I didn't want much, not marble or Faberge,
a duck's egg blown out, decorated
by an authentic Ukrainian Baba
who remembers Easter. I'm determined
to find meaning in your gift, something
to say when someone notices and asks
how I've come to own a wooden Easter egg,
hand painted on an assembly line
where women earn minimum wage.

This is not simple. Each shape, color
has more than one meaning. I choose
what I need. On the egg's broad base a cross,
the four corners of the world. White for birth.
A cross-birth. Accept this without thinking.
Here, too, a rose, yellow petals, green sepals.
A rose of hope, loving and caring.
I'm over-compensating to balance out the tears below,

eyes staring. Within despair a yellow ribbon of
everlasting life. So I believe.
And the background for these shapes? The color red,
passion and happiness. Is that what you hoped for
when you offered me the gift? Do you think
the women painting wooden eggs hoped, too?


Louisa Howerow's work has been published in small press magazines and literary journals in Canada, England and the United States. She writes short fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. Her recent poetry can be found in The Drexel Online Journal, The Pedestal Magazine, Quills (Canada) and Aesthetica (England.) In 2005, one of her poems was nominated for Canada's National Magazine Award. This is her first appearance in Offcourse.

Comments regarding her poems can be sent to [email protected]



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