Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

My Mother Dreamed of Pins

by Lois Marie Harrod

She wanted me square, tidy, frank,

a daughter who could embroider

neat little ducks on dish towels

with neat little needles, not what she got

a crooked straight, zig-zag prick of a girl

who sowed stitches like dandelions,

wild oats, wild cherries, a loon,

wild churl from the get-go, quirky

from the first lurch, willy-nilly walker,

silly talker, rick-rack and careen,

no arrow stiff as a stick, needs straightening out,

needs stiffening, her squirrel of a pearl

shredding the linen, knotting the thread,

something cerebral no cross-stitch could cure,

nothing my mother could fix, rain fluking my brain,

helter skelter flapjack skittering off the stove,

splash and jerk, start and flit.



LOIS MARIE HARROD’s thirteenth and fourteenth poetry collections, Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching, was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State). She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines, from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Read her work on


The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review