‘Dracula’s Lament Before His Return Home’ & ‘Bring Back the Jig’ by Danielle Wong

soft cartel april 2018

Dracula’s Lament Before His Return Home

Mountains, green and rocky,
cradle the view from my castle home.
The steep, winding roads
that end in narrow paths,
deter all but the faint of heart,
deter all who have not yet learned to fly.
No wonder the rarity of visits I receive!
No wonder the rarity of visits for my sisters as well!
How wondrous it would be to fly off to other lands,
to visit other people and learn of their cultures!
Perhaps they would care
to learn how to fly.
Perhaps they, too,
would like to live a new life.

One came to my home.
His stench I could not stand.
My sisters, not I, found him the toy of their dreams.
The pandemonium they created
as they fought over his hair, his face, his body
overcame my own sense of calm nervousness
that comes from a stranger in my presence
after all of these years.

Too long have we been alone.

I fled my own home
and sailed the seas,
acclimatizing myself
to their culture and their sights.
The churning up and down of the sea
was worse than any turbulence I knew.
How I’d rather take flight!
But directions I had not.

One by one,
night after night,
they’d ask me to teach them,
for they, too, had issues with the sea.
I obliged
and what did I learn?
They accused me,
yes, me,
of murderous crimes!
Everywhere I went,
people fell with illnesses I’ve seen long before,
illnesses that befell my friends,
my countrymen.
And everywhere I went,
they chased me
saying I was to blame.

Oh! Wretched me!
How could that ever be?
Best to lose all I have gained,
best to return home,
fly home,
to the cradle
of those mountains so green.

Bring Back the Jig

The day had been long,
the day had been hard,
but who could resist
when he played the spoons with a high-pitched, syncopated beat,
when his feet tapped against the floorboards a deep, steady beat,
when her fingers flew everywhere on her fiddle
making them forget the day?

Were they the devil
or was the devil in the jig?
They were drunk with the sound
that made them sing and clap,
that made them stand up,
that made them spin on their toes,
that made them grab each other’s hands for a twirl.

And if it were the devil,
how mean is he to bring them all such joy
when we know just how it was
with their days long,
their days hard?

Our days,
they are long.
Our days,
they are hard.

But where are the fingers that fly on the fiddle to help us forget our day?
Where are the tapping feet and the floorboards to give us a deep, steady beat?
Where are the spoons with their high-pitched, syncopated beat?
Has this devil stopped caring for us,
we, now, too easy a prey?
Come, bring back this music
and erase our pain.

Danielle Wong was born in the wide open prairies with clear, blue skies, but live in a big city in the East that is filled with rain and ice. She is an emerging writer who writes poetry and short stories to even out her software code writing days. Some of her work can be found in The 2016 Poetry Marathon Anthology, The 2017 Poetry Marathon Anthology, and in various Polar Expressions Publishing anthologies.

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