The Looff Carousel

by Connor Zimmerman on January 16, 2020


by Gabriela Baron ’20

I remember Mom hoisting me onto a porcelain pony:
her flowery perfume swaddled me.
I was strapped in safely;
Mom blurred as my pony pranced.

Little girl holding onto a horse on a carousel
Photo courtesy of

Her flowery perfume wafted through the air
as the pony touched the sky and kissed the ground.
Mom blurred when my pony galloped faster.
The whimsical music whirled.

The pony touched the sky and kissed the ground—
then it halted. I feared falling.
The whimsical music whirled
and I held onto my liberty, clutching the reins.

When the pony halted, I faced my fear of falling.
I unbuckled my security; a new rider was waiting.
I held onto my liberty, waving my belt like a flag.
I slid off the pony and hopped on a stallion.

The new rider waited
to be strapped in safely.
I slid off that pony! And hopped on this stallion!
I remembered Mom hoisting me onto that porcelain pony

Holiday Haikus

by The Cowl Editor on December 7, 2019


Girl staring up at Santa riding in the wintery night sky on his sleigh
Photo courtesy of


Snow twirls and dances
Lights twinkle in the night sky
Santa’s beard glows white

by Gabriela Baron ’20


Christmas: the smells of
pine trees, nativities, old
issue paper. Home.

by Clara Howard ’20


A cosmic feeling
Not gifted, but loved by all
The sense of wonder 

by Connor Zimmerman ’20


The footsteps are low
I hear him gulp down the milk
His crunching is loud!

by Sam Pellman ’20


Cozy, cuddle, warm,
Lovers snug with fire, with more
Snow and laugh harder.

by Jay Willett ’20


The elves hard at work.
Stay jolly, merry, and bright.
The toys must get done. 

by Sarah Kirchner ’21

No Place Like Home

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


by Gabriela Baron ’20

“Do you remember what I told you?” Mom asked nervously.

“Get lost and walk alone?” I said, mocking her.


“Mom, it’s going to be ok. Stop worrying. I’ll be with all my friends.”

It was my first time trick-or-treating without my parents. I was in sixth grade, and my mom and dad were finally letting me be independent! I mean I was 12, so I was practically an adult. I was going out with a big group of boys and girls in my grade (that was the only way they were allowing me to go). Christina was a witch, David was Harry Potter, Kevin and Adam were superheroes, Emily, Katie, Natalia, and Rebecca were characters from Winnie the Pooh, and I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

“And don’t let this little stinker get loose either,” my mom said, petting my teacup Yorkie, Snickers. Snickers was dressed up as Toto, Dorothy’s little pup.

After another ten minutes of reminding me of the rules, my parents set me free. It was 9 p.m. The sky was gloomy, and the moon glared down at us. We made a few stops around the best houses in the neighborhood, and my pillowcase grew heavy with full-size candy bars.

“So, who wants to go to this place next?” David said, pointing to an old, wooden house in the distance. Its paint was stripped, and it looked naked without any shutters. “Definitely not one of the girls,” Kevin joked.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I called back.

“It means you girls will chicken out. There’s a creepy man who lives there all by himself. Rumor has it he hasn’t left the house in years,” Kevin replied.

“I also heard that anyone who goes to his house on Halloween never makes it back home,” David added.

“Well, I’ll prove you all wrong. Haven’t you guys watched Home Alone before? The scary next-door neighbor who was always shoveling snow ended up being a sweet, misunderstood father. I bet you this guy’s not bad and these stories are just mean lies,” I argued.

“I don’t think that’s good enough of a reas—” Katie started.

“Oh, please. It’s not a big deal. I’ll be back in five minutes.”

After walking with Snickers for what seemed like longer than I had predicted, we finally reached the front steps. I could feel my heart pounding. You can do this, Ella, you’re basically a teenager now, I told myself. I knocked on the door three times. No answer. I knocked another three times. I thought I heard a sound from within but figured it was all in my head. “C’mon, Snickers, there’s no ‘creepy man’ inside,” I said, walking back down the steps. I heard a door creak open.

“Hello?” said a shadowy figure in a low, raspy voice.

I looked back. “Oh, uh, trick or treat!” I said awkwardly. Snickers’s tail was between his legs.

“Are you here all alone, Dorothy?” The man peered his head out the door. He had beady eyes. I don’t think he ever blinked.

“No, my friends are close by!”

“Well, all the kids already took the candy that was out on the stoop. But I have an extra candy apple inside.” He smiled, showing yellow crooked teeth. He was looking down at my ruby red heels.

“Oh, that’s ok!” I laughed nervously.

“No, really, come on,” he said, motioning me in.

“I’m fine. Thanks anyways!” I turned back around.

“No, I think you should come inside!” He grabbed one of my braids. I struggled to break free. My friends were too far away to hear me shout. His other hand clutched my forearm, pulling me in. My ruby heels made a screeching noise, scraping against the floor. Snickers growled and lunged forward.

“Ow, what the!” The man screamed, letting go of my hair. His ankle was bleeding from the bite.

“C’mon, Toto, we’re going home!” I shouted, yanking on the leash.

Suddenly, spending Halloween with my parents didn’t seem so bad after all.

A spooky cartoon house in all black with red windows
Photo courtesy of


by The Cowl Editor on October 10, 2019



by Gabriela Baron ’20


I can’t believe that you did that to her.
You wore a mask of false integrity.
She was a captive, now unleashed from “sir”
Yet sinking back into naiveté.

The door is open, but she stays inside.
The birds are singing but she cannot hear.
I still don’t know where she wants to reside
She has no home, a lonely bright-eyed deer.

One day will come that she begins to change,
I hope the hands move faster around the clock
So she can be awake and estrange
Herself from him, unlatch the door, break the lock

Just as the hatchlings will learn to take their flight
Just as the sun rises to bring daylight.

Rainforest Rain

by The Cowl Editor on September 26, 2019


by Gabriela Baron ’20

The sky turns a soft gray and skeleton trees
breathe in life as the wind compels them
to stretch out their arms.
Animals in the forest scurry,
smelling the imminent rain.
Red cardinals take shelter in their sanctuary,
eastern box turtles retreat to their shells,
and squirrels dart up maple, oak, and hickory trees.

Water is paint.
It dyes hair a darker hue,
transforms buds to sunflower yellow,
ripens red raspberries,
and brightens lush grass.

One drop of rain hits a cardinal.
It trickles down its back leaving a bright royal blue trail.
The bird ruffles its feathers, trying to shake off the color
but the blue remains.
Droplets land on an eastern box turtle,
its hard shell a canvas for a splatter painting of fuchsia, lilac, and peach.
Thunder howls and the rain drenches the squirrels:
one turquoise, another crimson, and others plum.
The rainbow rain showers over the grass, moss, and trees,
flooding the forest with color.
The cardinals leave their shelter,
the turtles dawdle through the grass,
and the squirrels sprint down tree trunks,
no longer scared of a rain.

Rainbow in a forest during a rainstorm
Photo courtesy of

Through a Window in Seville

by The Cowl Editor on September 19, 2019


by Gabriela Baron ’20

Desde mi ventana veo un nuevo universo
lleno de miles posibilidades:
coches voladores, robots, y sueños realizados
y uno sin árboles, abejas y el té de mi abuela.

Desde mi ventana veo alguien que conozco
con gafas de estilo vibrante y un vestido rosado con volantes.
Pétalos de rosas secas
caen a sus pies.

A woman looking woefully out a window
Photo courtesy of

No sé cómo ella es tan valiente,
pero aquí está,
enfrente de mi.
Una sobreviviente de batalles

que aún no puedo ver.

From my window I see a new universe
filled with thousands of possibilities:
of flying cars, robots, and realized dreams
and one without trees, bees, and my grandmother’s tea.

From my window I see someone I know
with cat eye glasses and a pink ruffled dress.
Petals of dried roses
fall at her feet.

I don’t know how she can be so strong,
but here she is,
ahead of me.
A survivor of battles

that I cannot yet see.

7 Ways to View a Daffodil

by The Cowl Editor on August 29, 2019


A daffodil
Photo courtesy of

by Gabriela Baron ’20

The vivid skirts of dancers
Swaying and twirling in the wind

A morning star
Bursting like fireworks in the gloomy sky

The pure happiness of a child
Its petals spreading out into a grin

Midas’ fingers
A golden touch radiating prosperity

A sprout from the earth
Summoning the birds
To commence their sweet melodies

A push through strong, stubborn roots
After winter

The rising sun
Blooming into a new day


by The Cowl Editor on November 30, 2018


by Gabriela Baron ’20

Every morning I visit your home, the garden. My watering can hovers over your head, the refreshing droplets drip down your neck. I pat down your bed, my hands sinking into the soil. You are my patient and I, your caretaker. I make sure that you’re healthy, that your vibrant hue doesn’t pale.


Daily stress and worries are embossed on each page of my planner. I scribble my black sharpie over each item but the curved letters peek through, taunting me with their permanence. I squeeze three drops of your essential oil into my diffuser. You swim leisurely in the shallow water bath. When I take in your calming perfume my shoulders relax, my breathing slows, and I can finally rest my bloodshot eyes. Your soothing energy surrounds me, diffusing the sparks of my anxiety. Your moisture tames the flame.


Our skin is rough and parched. My body shakes from the frigid air. I prepare my ingredients: two pieces of woven cloth, dried jasmine rice, and your frosted hair. With a needle and thread, I stitch my homemade heating pad together. It twists and molds around my body, melting into the fibers of my skin. I burrow deep into my bed and place the microwaved creation in between my arms, hoping to capture the familiar fragrance. I curl my back, my body like a bulb soaking in your warm sunshine. I am your patient and you, my caretaker.


…but where will you be in the spring? Will I find you in the Royal Alcázar of Seville? Should I look for you in the Boboli gardens of Florence? During high tea in London? Baked inside the puff pastries of Paris? Or shall I take a train to L’Occitane? And if I don’t find you, will you still recognize me?

The Worker Ant

by The Cowl Editor on November 19, 2018


Ant isolated on white background
Graphic design by Connor Zimmerman ’20

by Garbiela Baron ’20

I am the worker ant.
My job is simple:
provide for my winged majesty and her offspring.

My queen’s size is twice mine.
Fertile, strong, and powerful;
she is vital to the survival of the community.

Today I journey with the troops.
Together: a mighty machine.
Separate: miscellaneous parts.
A predator passes…
we dive into the muddy earth, camouflaged from the enemy.
Will it find me?
then the sky erupts with clear droplets.
The bombs shake the earth.

The sun wages war against the clouds,
its rays of light pierce through with victory.
We continue on our journey through the moist ground and find
a new battlefield:
mother and child on a red and white plaid blanket.
They surround a cornucopia of treasure:
an array of Swiss cheese slices, plump plums, and chicken salad sandwiches.
The objective is ahead; the troops take action.
The sunlight disappears, obstructed by a new cloud:
doughy hands hovering over me.
Will I escape unharmed?
One by one the soldiers around me

I—the last one standing—cannot surrender.
I dodge the offensive,
determined to fight for the colony.
With a crumb on my back I march forward in triumph;
the weight pulls me down
but I keep walking.

I am the worker ant
My job is not simple.
I am vital to the survival of the community.

What Will I Be?

by The Cowl Editor on October 25, 2018


Women giving candy to kids trick or treating
Photo courtesy of

by Gabriela Baron ’20

October is the month of possibility. Our creativity develops and deepens like the crimson and cinnamon fall foliage. Each gust of crisp air propels our thoughts to the future. What do you want to be? The answer used to change every year: Dorothy, Snow White, a ladybug, Eeyore. On Halloween, I could be whoever I wanted. My only worry was picking an orange Starburst instead of a pink or getting gooey candy stuck in my teeth. As I get older, Halloween is much… scarier. What do you want to be? The question is more pressing, persistent, permanent. A constant knocking at my door. It possesses a new form, a new costume. Outside my window princesses and monsters rush around the streets, dragging pillowcases of sweets twice their size. Inside, mountains of candy are replaced by piles of paper. My wooden chair shrieks as I slide it closer to my desk. The brightness of my computer screen glows against the dark room. A full moon in the night sky. Deadlines and applications pop up rapidly, startling me like my own personal haunted house. Doubt and uncertainty hover above me, sending chills down my spine. I close my eyes, scooping out the slimy seeds of negativity. Creating space for light to enter the jack-o-lantern of my mind. What will I be? The answer remains the same: a writer.