One Poem by Andrew Howdle

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.


Methodical slats, a herringbone wall,
And a front garden
Carpeted by fine,
Horticultural quincunxes, these paint
An exact view of
The banality
Of life in Midwestern America –
Peace’s status quo.

One female pins up a well-worn jacket
With a safety pin
And clutches a bird,
Whilst the other, society’s pin up,
Holds a needlepoint
Clutch bag. A tired phrase,
Chicken today, feathers tomorrow, hugs
Her like red fox fur.

The daily transaction between classes –
The routine normal –
Holds no surprises,
Until an observing eye appraises
The strikingly queer
Angle of a Wood
Fence, so unlike the neatly constructed,
Social mise en scène.

I hear the painter, a discreet gay man
Whose love flew to fledged
Young men and who drew
Adolescence as a gawky chicken,
Chuckling to himself
As he contemplates
Two women haggling over the price of
A hot coq-au-vin.


Andrew Howdle is a retired teacher and educational consultant. He lives in Leeds, England. His poems have appeared in Ekphrastic Review, Impossible Archetype, Singapore Unbound, Nine Muses Poetry, and  Lovejets (2019), an anthology of poems for Walt Whitman.

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