Each night the owl cries like an umarried girl
and sometimes over the naked fields
another cries back.

I, a married woman, go out
as if to find them, to tell them a thing or two
about affection

about isolation.

Certainly when young you dream,
dream of a companion,
a twin, a shadow.

You want to be possessed, obsessed,

You'd like your heart to be gnawed down to

You would drown in a river like Ophelia.

Not in the day do you tell anyone.
In the day you can stay occupied.
But your heart is a land mine waiting to happen.

Owls, girls, what ninnies
making the whole world a mockery.

It wouldn't be you to see the housewife bustling,
breaking the wood, waiting for the flour to rise.

You are wrapped in your own ego like a god.

I want to tell you not to feed on false belief.
Not to dwell on sex or hunger,
not to roll your head as if to show it off.

Come out where I can see you.
Come out like a bride after her first real fight.

I'm telling you, if you saw the horrors in the day
my owls

you would shut your mouths at night.

Leonore Wilson


I can barely walk the pasture
the way their hoofs have cleaved the earth
as if to mar it, —

this is what it is to know silence,
silence and routine

the way the blackbirds rise suddenly
in a long scarf of despair —

the heifers kneel then graze,
graze then kneel, winter’s preponderance

the way stone is made into the mortar
hour upon hour

the slow burning off of frost…

in three months the grasses will diminish,
no longer lush

they will not see it coming

and isn’t youth like that, and beauty,
those gadflies

which nag the mind, and drag the soul
almost to slaughter…

Leonore Wilson
LEONORE WILSON lives in the wilds of Northern California where she preserves the family ranch. She also teaches at a nearby college. Her work has been in such mags as Quarterly West, Pif, 2RiverReview, Third Coast, Madison Review, Poets Against the War, Five Fingers Review, etc.
The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award