ELSA DIDN’T WANT TO GO INTO THE CAGE
Elsa didn’t want to go into the
cage but she did anyway. What else could
she do? No mother no father just a
stubborn brother who never came home
last week. Here the cage is both meta-
phorical and actual. It was large enough
for an exotic animal. It was
there like a canker sore. Inside, handcuffed,
a small girl curled in the corner, trapped
under blankets and fur coats. No one asked.
Wearing a fancy hat she looked inten-
tional. Five men watched as it was dragged
onto the ship. She waved goodbye. Settled in.
Her wrists bled. Everything else fell away.
ELSA TOO REMEMBERS A DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE
I remember everything because the
remembering is all I am good for:
stone steps, stone streets in a light mist glisten,
narrow and winding. We know a downpour
is on the horizon. Cautious, we proceed
with open umbrellas. From inside
lights glow, shops close and we watch the lovely
softness rise with dusk settles into night.
The sounds of water absorbing water,
the sounds of bicycles riding over
bridges, the sounds of two glasses of wine
being enjoyed, sitting side-by-side.
A long meal. A hotel bed. A taste.
Elsa too remembers a different landscape.