Return to Bear Creek
by Louisa Howerow

My mother’s warnings follow me—
her fear of woods, bears, children
bearing children, and yet

I left her to her stylus,
wax lines crossed on empty
eggs she then dyed red—

and all that spring she knew
and couldn’t stop me listening
to the swollen creek, to the bloodroot

You are the queen of queens.


Louisa Howerow’s recent poems have appeared in Rabbit
in Australia, Antiphon in the United Kingdom, and
Mom Egg Review in the United States.

On “Return to Bear Creek”:
Last year I was an online participant in a workshop led by
Hoa Nguyen consisting of  reading through Charles Olson’s
The Maximum Poems, and a short pre-poem-writing portion
with suggested parameters.  This poem came from such a
“free” write: I was longing for spring, and remembering my
“spring.”  The images are a collage of my growing up place.  
Although the poem went through many revisions with input
from my online poetry community, the heart of it stayed.     

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 9, Number 1
(Spring 2014)

Copyright © 2014
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.