These Teenage Daughters of Divorced Mothers

See how they walk
To and from their breaking homes
In this twilit town
Where naked oaks
Sketch the streets
And a swirling of crows
Settles in clumps
On the high limbs
Above the old folks home,
Cataracts in its vacant eyes.

One girl, collar to the cold
Hurries home
Under sudden streetlights
Ushered now by these shadows
That follow, switch forward, fall back…
Past, present, future.
One, two, three crows.

Another marches to her mantra:
Like her mother
She will not cry
Like her mother.
A crow blinks in rhythm.

Ah, and still another
Sashays, poses, practices.
Let them all wonder,
Those jealous ones
Behind their curtains,
Because under the cloak
Of the crow
She will slip away
To the old cannery
Where a wavy haired boy,
Two years older, waits for her
Soft plumes of tobacco smoke
Rising from his lips—
She is rough and ready
And rarin’ to go.


Pete Howard works as an English teacher, a musician, a writer, and a house painter.

2 Discussions on
“These Teenage Daughters of Divorced Mothers”
  • I’ve ready many of Pete Howard’s contributing articles and poetry. I find him to be insightful and wise. He has a mastery of the language and uses it adeptly. It is always a pleasure to read his posts. Thank you.