Common Brown House Moths

by Laura Zacharin

In Common Brown House Moths, poems step back from the hurry, blur and ordinariness to take a closer look at the the hazards of daily life . From her work as a doctor and  everyday family life, first time author, Laura Zacharin considers themes of memory, change, Illness, recovery and loss. A variety of poetic forms, uses energy of these forms to engage with encounter and experience. Sometimes with humour, always with stark honesty, and often indirectly, Zacharin uses ordinary language for clarity and immediacy in this elegant and imagistic collection rife with emotional pull.

SKU: 9781927823989 Category:

$19.95 CAD

Additional information

Weight .208 kg
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in
Page Count



Soft Cover with flaps

Year Published


Laura Zacharin

Laura has been a family physician in Toronto since 1990. In 2018 she completed her Creative Writing Certificate at University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies and was the recipient of the Marina Nemat Award for Poetry. She was a finalist in 2016 for the Janice Colbert Poetry Award and in 2018 for The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Poetry Contest. In 2017 she attended the Emerging Writer’s Intensive at the Banff Centre. Her poetry has appeared in The Fiddlehead, CV2, and The Malahat Review.

American Mestengo

Every time the horse dies she writes another prayer.
Some in plain English, some in languages
she doesn’t speak or understand.
The pen keeps moving or sometimes it’s just her lips —
Blessed be or May he rest in or Restore him.
On her desk, scribbles pile up,
booklets, loose-leaf binders, scraps.  Her skin
against bond, smooth and flat. Calluses
on her inky thumb and index.

In the predawn,
horses cross the field, over the bridge. Some gallop, forage,
get their fill. Others stumble, limp; their legs
are thin and weak. Cracks mark their hooves.
Some are ringed with flies, their eyes
so runny and swollen they don’t close.  Some nicker and bray,
lie down on the vast and dusty plain.

And she is in her room,
listening.  She’s always listening, waiting
for another horse to jump a make-shift fence
or clear a river.  She scrawls wildly,
running  alongside horse as fast as her legs
— slow and only human —will carry her.
The light in her room is on and on.  She loves.
Has always loved.  The horses, their doleful eyes, their coats
—bristly in one direction, smooth in the other —
rubs her palm along the mane.
But they are miles away, running and running.  Can’t stop
thinking of those damn horses.  Their horsey smell,
the rhythm of their hooves on the sandy plain.
It doesn’t matter if they’re not really hers.
That they belong to horse.

Can’t sleep, always expecting or not expecting news
to come and it does it doesn’t come. She gets an email,
a text, ur horse, the phone rings.  A man shows up
at her door with a special delivery, or letters
smudged in the night through the grime on her window,
a prickle on the back of her neck.
She just knows.
I’m so sorry to inform you —