Skip to content

Poetry by Eve Brouwer

Spread the love

Poetry from My Grandmother Danced by Eve Brouwer:

SATURDAY CHORES

William Grunewald, Saturday, June 3, 1933 Chicago, Illinois

 

Times have been tough hereabout,

all about.

Decent men losing jobs,

decent men riding the rails.

Keeps me counting my blessings, I’ll tell you.

Me and my crew, down at the streetcar barns

are needed, thank God, more than ever now.

Our tinkerin’ with those trolly cars

keeps them on the tracks,

criss-crossin’ through the city,

and keeps us and ours out of the bread lines.

Quitting time is noon on Saturdays.

Next stop, for me, is the church,

the church office to meet Pastor James,

and help him with the Sunday bulletin.

He watches as I pick out the letters on the Underwood.

Keeps his hands clean while I wrap the master

on the mimeograph’s cylinders

and run off a hundred copies for the next day’s service.

Today I was so bold—

after he’d gone,

after I’d scrubbed my hands—

as to page through the index

of his concordance Bible:

“Marriage”; “Love”; “Husband”; “Wife”.

‘Til I found something promising:

Fifth chapter of Proverbs, vese eighteen,

“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth,

Be thou ravished….”

Fact is, I’d been feeling my oats,

thinking maybe some Bible quotes

might help me in persuading Sylvie

to enjoy an evening with me sometime.

So, tonight, as I climbed into bed,

I brought my Bible along,

carried it under my arm,

like I was going somewhere important,

and it did bring on a smile right off,

the sight of me in my pajamas,

carrying that Bible.

I settled in

and in my Good Book voice,

commenced to read,

“Let thy fountain be blessed,”

Which gave her the giggles,

and I knew then

that she knew then

where I was heading.

The Bible does have a nice way of putting things.

I’d never thought of my fountain

as blessed.

I chuckled too, then plowed on,

“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”

Sylvie sighed.

I lowered my voice,

murmured,

“Let her be as the lovingly

and pleasant….”

Here I stopped.

Started again:

“…as the loving and pleasant….”

“Pleasant what?” she asked.

“Doe,” I faltered, “like a deer!”

And, God Almighty,

she laughed.

And I knew I was soon to succeed.

“Let her breasts satisfy thee

at all times,

And be thou ravished always

with her love.”

Then

as she let her guard down

and lifted her nightie up,

the Book

slipped

from my hands.

 

My Grandmother Danced is told in brief, lyrical chapters. This innovative structure keeps the story brisk and fast-paced.The book touches on topics that make us examine our own ideas about adultery, war, homosexuality, prejudice, marriage, birth, and death. My Grandmother Danced appeals to readers who take pleasure not only in a solid story but also in pondering the whys and wherefores of a book’s characters just as we do the motivations and actions and consequences in our own lives.

 

 

REMEMBER THE SABBATH

Sylvia Haffner Grunewald, Sunday, June 4, 1933

On this, our day of rest,

our day of remembering the Sabbath

to keep it holy,

I’m ashamed to say

all of my remembering was on last night.

(Who’d have guessed

that readin’ the Bible could be romantic?)

To all appearances, it was a typical Sunday.

Same as always,

I watched from the choir loft

as Will and Sebastian

ushered together.

Then Will joined me up there,

before the morning preaching.

Directly after,

we all went to Sunday School.

Then home for dinner,

which was barely over before

we were walking back

for Evening Service.

I swear there’s a path

worn in the sidewalks

from our apartment

on Sacramento Boulevard

up Flournoy Street

to the church door.

Then, finally, as usual, to bed,

but not, this time, to rest.

 

The essays, poems and reflections in this book were written by individuals who form part of the Into the Woods Writers’ Circle in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. This circle of scribes met for the first time in early 2016. We found each other in response to a public call to form a community of like minded writers who would come together monthly to elevate the writing experience through shared readings of our professional works.

 

 

HE LEFT US

Josephine Grazziano Grunewald, April 16, 1945 Chicago Illinois

Sebastian was my heart, my soul, my husband,

father of my child,

my dreamer, My Dream.

He left Emmy everything she’ll ever need,

his angular face, his long, slender, guitar-picking fingers,

his inquisitiveness, his wit, his goodhearted nature.

He left his mother free of the debt he’d carried

so bravely and silently and secretly for her.

He left her knowing she’d raised a good and noble man.

He left me with memories too good to be true.

Are they true? The marriage, the love?

He left me Emmy, my reason for staying alive.

He left us papers, covered with

sketches and watercolor paintings.

Proof he was.

Proof he was here.

Poof, he was gone.

 

Louisiana Inklings celebrates the literary and cultural diversity to be found in Louisiana and showcases the talents of some of the state’s finest “small name” writers. Here you’ll find poetry, short fiction, transcendent memoir, imaginative essays, and stand-alone chapters from novels in progress. Written with verve and talent; spiced with that good old Louisiana flavor.

 

 Eve Brouwer

 

Eve Brouwer is a transplanted northerner. “In Chicago,” she says, “I wrote brisk press releases and full-of-wind advertisements and cold science textbooks. In Louisiana, I breathe thick air, clasp a sweaty pen, and on damp paper write tales of minor incidents and burning passions that propel us through our lives.

 

 

__________________________

If you enjoyed reading this short story and would like to know when more true stories, essays, and poems will be posted, please sign up for the mailing list. We don’t sell emails and we don’t engage in spam.





 

Published inPoetry

7 Comments

  1. Russell MacClaren Russell MacClaren

    The story of her family, written in Brouwer’s insightful poetry, is a microcosm of the drama of humanity. I devoured her entire book, with all its warmth and color and am awed by her treatment of the characters. Her family biography is a jewel, a class act, brimming over with an understanding for the foibles of mankind.

  2. PnnvE3 PnnvE3

    Awesome material you fellas got.

  3. Mandy Mandy

    I like the authenticity of the vocabulary, like “hereabout.” I get a sense of the real voices and experiences of the speakers of the poems. I especially loved the detail of typesetting the church bulletin. I can tell that the poet is highly aware of sound, too–the proof/proof/poof really struck me.

  4. Jamie Jamie

    Lots of a great imagery in these poems. The characters and their surroundings really come alive. I felt connected to their characters and their lives. Excellent work. I would love to read the anthologies these poems are included in.

  5. Russell MacClaren Russell MacClaren

    All Brouwer’s poems of her family are encapsulated in a single book, complete in and of itself, entitled My Grandmother Danced. The volume, available in soft cover from Amazon and on Kindle is highly recommended reading . The history is spread over decades of life, a prize jewel, enthralling to any who like poetry, biographies, drama and real-life stories of passion and human entanglements. The work presents itself as a new genre, the surface of which has barely been scratched, a family history woven into startling poetry.

  6. Ben Ben

    Saturday Chores: I’m intrigued. Telling such a romantic story in a religious way, sort of. “Then

    as she let her guard down

    and lifted her nightie up,

    the Book

    slipped

    from my hands.
    SHE LEFT US: An amazing piece of poetry talking about love, death and art. Only great poets combine these subjects with such awesomeness

  7. Lee Lee

    What a master piece here…. I like how the poet tell this

    Then, finally, as usual, to bed,

    but not, this time, to rest.

    This line touched my heart & soul…The poet describes soo much about life in all her poetry…It seems as if someone is telling their truly lived life story through this amazing piece of short poetry…

    Loved the writing style!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Blog Directory