Issue 10

Winter 2014


Crossing Over

Even at eight, I walked alone.

Anywhere, for hours, but mostly across
the blue breath of Lake Geneva,

where I paused at that kink in the bridge
by l’île Rousseau to see the coots

bobbing like nuns and spreading out their toes.

I didn’t know them by that name;
this was before English, or French, when all words

other than my own were a smudge,
a wrenching wrongness – though I coped

in the shops when I went in to buy
plastic mice for the dolls’ house,

or to choose pale pink lingerie
for the time – remote, yet imminent –

when I’d be rich and married, crowned with lace.


Annette Volfing