Thank You Notes!

by The Cowl Editor on December 8, 2022



hearts coming out of an envelope
photo creds: pixabay

Mom and Dad, thank you for believing in me and supporting my love for writing. I love you both so much!

Megan B.

I’m thankful for one of our lovely UG2 workers in Davis, Vita. Thank you for everything you do, your work and your kindness do not go unnoticed. 

Kate W.

To Gil Donohue, who might read this: thank you for Lessons & Carols, and for choir week in and week out. You are, as they say, a goat.

Fiona C.

” A huge thank you to my family – You support me in all my endeavors and are my greatest cheerleaders. I would not be where I am today without you! ” – Sara J.

To the ladies at the Ruane Starbucks, thank you for keeping me alive this semester!

Sarah K. 

Thank you Sonia for your wonderful omelets every day! You help make the start of every morning extra special.

Taylor R.

Thank you to my family and friends for always providing comfort and love. I appreciate it more than ever during the holiday season

Caitlin B. 

Class of 2023, thank you for being so great and making these four years the best! 

Anna P.

Thank you to the AMAZING Cowl editors and writers who’ve worked so hard this semester!

Sarah M. 

I have a lot of people in my life that I want to thank. Not just for being nice to me but for just being in my life. Being someone I can count on when I have no one else to turn too, people who I know will always be there for me even when others turn their backs on me. I’ve known these three idiots for almost half my life. And I’ve never been more thankful for their existence. They’ve gotten me through incredibly rough times and I can’t imagine my life without them. To my best friends in the entire world, thank you.

Connor R.

The Unthinkable

by Max Gilman '25 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Co-Editor


a mom and child under an umbrella
photo creds: pixabay

I hate the way the sun goes down in the evening.
I love to talk with strangers.
I hate to say I could be happier.
I love dancing beneath pine trees.
I hate how I can’t climb ten feet up any tree trunk.
I love appreciating stillness.
I hate spiders and centipedes.
I love to kill them.
I hate to forge a smile.
I love rainy nights and cloudy days.
I hate mirrors.
I love it when grandma phones me.
I hate choking down cold medicine.
I love nostalgic smells.
I hate looking at my words.
I love to pretend.
I hate breaking promises.
I love fiction.
I hate cold stares.
I love to hate everything about myself.

I hate ranking.
I love color.
I hate boxes.
I love mountains.
I hate curbsides.
I love windows.
I hate telling.
I love showing.
I hate practicing.
I love performing.
I hate waiting.
I love running.

I hate how I love to kill bugs.
I love insects with their little lives and wayward worlds.
I hate to ruin lives.
I love to say things I am unsure of.
I hate long car drives.
I love older couples.
I hate walking through cities.
I love to see things from a new perspective.
I hate to be looked at.
I love attention.
I hate the shower.
I love singing high-pitched notes I cannot hit.
I hate walking with pace.
I love to confuse.

I love the smell of Church.
I hate my birthday.
I love goodbyes.
I miss my parents.
I wish my words wouldn’t puddle.

I want ink to burst from every hair follicle on my head.
With no secrets left to hide.


by Meg Brodeur '24 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Co-Editor


venus, goddess of love
photo creds: pixabay

The Goddess of Love donned a velvet crimson dress softer than rose petals. She strolled along the city’s cobblestone walkway as the water sent an autumn chill to brush against her skin. Lifting her gaze to the sky, the moon looked back at her, revealing only a sliver of its full, plump figure. She rolled her eyes at its secrecy and relished in the few stars dwelling in between the clouds. The streetlamps highlighted her ethereal glow and drew the attention of the strangers who passed by her. Aphrodite rid herself of gawking men with the simple snap of her slender fingertips. She perched herself on the park bench closest to the silky midnight tides. From across the bay, she felt a thread forming between two lovers who were lounging together in a state of mellow bliss. Thinking of their home, her mood softened. They lived in a cozy cottage, tucked away from the obnoxious city lights. Inside, the two paramours reclined together on a well-loved emerald-green sofa with threadbare upholstery. Neither seemed to mind the condition of their furniture, or the paint that had smudged from her hands onto his cheek. Next to them was a half-finished portrait of him. She’d promised herself only a short break before returning to her work. But every time she got up, he urged her to come back. And every time she got up, she missed the feeling of his arms around her. So she gave in, and with their limbs intertwined, they fell asleep by the crackling hearth.

Autumn Gold

by Sarah Klema '23 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Staff


The sun in the noon-day sky is a giant beaming dandelion severed from its stem,

Freely floating over the earth.

A disembodied puff of flower head

Liberated from earthly laws,

Immortalized above the clouds despite the passing

of its sister buds in the onslaught of November frost.

Upon a barren hill,

My fingers reach as headless stems

In vain to trace

Each honeyed, golden petal.

So fragrant and sweet they seem to me

As they cast their warmth unto the world below,

Greet my frosted cheeks

With floral kisses.

Days of plenty have laid themselves to rest in fallen leaves,

Now I, a beggar on a corpse of earth, reach out

To grasp its proffered petals in my palms,

Pocket as many as will fit within the confines of my coat.

Smuggled warmth stowed away

For colder days to come.

5 Microaggressions (My Last Poem For You)

by Mariela Flores '23 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Staff


hands go brazy
photo creds: pexels



You are so lazy.

My name is one more syllable at the end

a sound I know you know well––“uh”

Use your tongue, don’t you dare cheat.


“Where are you really from?”

Where do you think?

I want you to say it loud, tell me who you think I am

tell me why. Do not veil your ignorance with curiosity.

You have not earned the right to innocence.


“We wanted to make sure the grammar was right.”

Of my Spanish. A language you do not know. A language I know intimately.

My Spanish loves me more than your English.

What a thing you did––colonizing a language that has already colonized

thousands. You hold a boldness in your hands, it is heavy, and it bleeds––

you are hungry for power. Stop hurting what is not yours.


“Why are you so loud?”

You hate that someone like me could take up

space from someone like you. Do you hate it when my words touch you?

All I have are words. I will use them, plunge them deep




into the marrow of your bones until you hear me.


“You people”

We are people. Yes, we are people. You wish we were nothing

but dust and memories. Do we scare you? We people are going to “steal” your jobs.

No. We are going to earn everything you think you were born deserving.

We take it back for ourselves, lather in the goodness of our time, you will get nothing.

That is the least we could do.

We take back what you stole.


by The Cowl Editor on December 6, 2022


Best Study Tips For Finals 

  • Go to your professors’ office hours 
  • Don’t procrastinate 
  • Drink water
  • Meet up with friends from your class
  • Leave your phone off while studying
  • Get lots of sleep!
  • EAT (Nutrition is key!)
  • Go to the library and steal someone’s area in the quiet corner 
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
  • Use the Pomodoro Method
  • Exercise (or do yoga/meditate)

Tiff and Earl

by The Cowl Editor on December 6, 2022


Yo Tiff and Earl,

I forgot to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for my family and friends. What should I do?


Last-Minute Shopper

Hey Last-Minute Shopper, 

If you walk down the street to the Dollar Tree, you can find some great last-minute gifts at a reasonable price! You can get as many gifts as possible without breaking your bank account in half, and make sure you also buy some cute wrapping paper, too!



image of tiff

Hey Last-Minute Shopper, 

Just write some apology letters and take the L. 



image of tiff


by Sara Junkins '23 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Staff


photo creds: pixabay

Most of the statues in Riz’s Museum were everyday folk. Artwork unknown to the world, with titles substituted for numbers on the description plaques, but I knew them all, and so did my father.

Ruth the Beggar on her knees looking up with imploring eyes. The emaciated children in tattered vestments. Marcus the Musician who plays on street corners with an open violin case full of passersby’s pennies. All of them homeless sojourners we took in. All with stories that must not be forgotten.

But they are not always in this timeless stance. They are just as animated as you and I, but only at night, after all the visitors are gone, after they have given all that they can.

All elements, statues, sculptures, and paintings function as one system, one forest interconnected by the roots.

The museum sustains. Fulfills souls with spiritual oxygen. So in exchange for participating in gifting life, life is given.

Transformed to stone through cloudy mist by morning light and back to flesh in a billow of fire by night.

My father, the caretaker, brought them here. To this magical place. In exchange for home. It’s much easier to paint a picture of a house than to construct one…

At twilight, the sunset’s flames illuminate through stained glass and set aglow the fire of life in the midst of darkness’s onslaught. Doors open. Paintings become transparent. A world awaits within the walls, beyond the frames. True home, only once accessible through imagination, becomes manifest.

Basically, we ran a mystical form of Habitat for Humanity. I was given the task of painting some of the houses. Not because I’m the best artist, but because I wanted to help. I wanted these people to have exactly what they wanted after a life of hardship. This was my service work.

I was tasked with creating Ruth’s house. She was the newest addition to our collection, our family. I was nearly done with all the rooms, but the garden was taking some time. She requested a swing and an array of flowers, some of which I had never heard of before. It still astounded me that blotches of blue I called primroses and dabs of pink that would be dahlias would soon be someone’s reality.

My brother was working on a playground for the children, but this one had slides made of rainbows and clouds instead of sandboxes.

Everything was well, until one day it was not. A new group came in with my father. He always saw the potential, saw the goodness in people, but something felt off to me. A gaggle of guys from the city sauntered around as he explained the magic of this mountain museum. They paid him no attention, and never met his gaze.

“Troublemakers,” I thought, but my conscience instantly rebuked me. Of course, it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover.

Yet the following evenings, my initial instincts proved right. Fight after fight with the other inhabitants. Disturbance after disturbance. Disruption of our peaceful haven.

A bug in the system, toxin in the roots, a poison in the museum. The museum’s pure balance did not react well with incendiary hearts.

As the orange flames streamed in through the stained glass, they missed the marks, everywhere catching fire.

Hearts ablaze with fright, the protocol seared into our minds…one minute before all oxygen is cut off…

Breathless, we scramble to the closest exit and watch our precious mountain museum alight with unwanted luminescence. Then, the light dies and the silent night overtakes us. A death and sudden revival. All will be preserved and intact.

Ruth and the children shake, and the band of villains disappear into the mountain mist. The museum would spit them out again if they dared to come back, unless they had a change of heart, of course.

Tonight, we decide to sleep beneath the caress of starlight, on our Hushabye Mountain as our haven restores itself. The ballad resonates in the whispers of the trees, “the winds of night so softly are sighing, soon they will fly your troubles to sea.”

We slept with hope in our hearts.

Moonlit Painting

by Meg Brodeur '24 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Co-Editor


crescent moon and a girl swinging on it
Photo courtesy of

Through a curtainless bay window, the moonlight cascaded into our flat and illuminated your face with an ethereal shimmer. You asked me to paint you a picture of my future. So, with a grin teasing my lips, I told you to pose for a portrait. Rolling your eyes in feigned exasperation, you sat back on our flea market diamond, a shabby, chic, emerald sofa with threadbare upholstery. Although your face donned a crimson blush, your eyes remained unabashed. You were looking upon my own giddy expression with affection and something else. Something closer to admiration than infatuation. Something drifting past fondness and into a realm of inexplicable bliss. I brought my brush to the canvas, my hands shaking at the possibility of us being a dwindling flame. I worried we were teetering on the edge of forever and nevermind. But with each brushstroke, I began to gradually accept your devotion. Studying the intricate details beyond your silhouette, I confirmed that you weren’t just a mirage of my lifelong daydream. You weren’t merely a figment of my imagination, appearing out of the flickering candles and illuminated by the bright autumn moon. I reached out to touch the perfect little scars on your hands and watched fondly as your calloused palm pressed against my own. Our fingers came together like a lavender spindle intertwined with a sunflower blossom. Serene and calm, your lavender aura blended with my sunflower soul to melt away the prickers I manifested from my own anxiety. And even though I knew my thorns would grow back, that moment of reprieve meant everything. It meant that peace wasn’t a farfetched desire, but an inevitable part of my future with you. That wave of tranquil energy would find its way back to me in a rhythmic ebb and flow. So, I kept painting that picture of you, savoring the way your warm eyes shimmered in the autumn moon and candlelight.  

Born To Be Middle-Aged

by Fiona Clarke '23 on December 6, 2022
Portfolio Staff

Creative Non-Fiction

an old lady
photo creds: pixabay

I have forgiven but not forgotten the senior who, a few weeks ago, asked me what grade I was in, in a tone clearly indicating her conviction that I must be at least two grades below her. With prayers, I smothered my immediate impulse to make a face like a sleep paralysis hag and bellow, “DO I LOOK SO YOUNG NOW?” Instead, like one of Jane Austen’s more polite heroines, I attempted to answer her as sweetly and blandly as possible, and life went on. But I have not forgotten.

I don’t know whether it’s that I have a baby face or that I act like a bug-eyed idiot fresh out of the juvenile hall or both, but whatever the reason, much to my chagrin and confusion, it’s been a recurring theme of my penultimate semester at Providence College that I should be mistaken for being younger than I am. I’ve been informed that I should be flattered when this happens, but I have not yet managed to be. I was even informed by some ghoul who, like my roommate, had clearly been watching a lot of Law and Order: SVU that I should be “extra happy” if people think I’m younger than I am because of how highly youth is valued in women. But after all, as the old man on the porch says in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Youth is wasted on the wrong people!” Maybe I’ll be flattered if, in five or ten years, my age is still underestimated, but here and now I still think wistfully of the one gray hair I found a few years ago and fondly anticipate being middle-aged.

Happily, there’s some evidence that I was born for middle age, or at least for what I imagine middle age to be. I’ve always been behind by months or years on pop culture and am unlikely to catch up soon; I don’t really check the internet—a phrase my much savvier younger sister has informed me is “weird” (“You don’t ‘check the internet’ like you check your email!”). I don’t know what’s on the New York Times bestseller list, but I do know what books I’m going to give my children to read. I recently spent the weekend fixing a table I found on the side of the road—we’re talking sanding, stripping paint, sanding again, staining, and staining again. Today I think maybe I’ll hang up a picture or two. It’s the high life for me and my baby face.