Mrs Galatea

by Drora Matlofsky

Every morning
The key in her back was wound up.
Mrs Galatea went to the kitchen, the bathroom,
The children's room,
Walked down the stairs,
Up again
All around the house
Until evening.

A strawberry smile frozen between her apple cheeks,
Her blackcurrant eyes fixed on the horizon,
She walked in silence
While her key unwound itself slowly in her back,
Not knowing
That her stiff movements made no sense.

When she slowed down,
It was the end of the day.
Mrs Galatea lay on her bed
And stared at the ceiling.
With her strawberry smile
Until the key was wound up again
The following morning.

One morning
The key-winder didn't do his job.
Mrs Galatea lay neatly on her bed
And smiled at the ceiling
Until evening.

Again the following day
The key was not wound.
Had the key-winder forgotten her?
Was he dead?
Dust tickled Mrs Galatea's shallow nostrils.
She sneezed.

Air invaded her body
Breathing questions into her:
Who winds the key?
Why does he wind it?
Why hasn't he come?
Will he come back?

What should she do?

Woe to the keeper of the keys
Who neglects his duty.
In Mrs Galatea's body
A soul is hatching.

Drora Matlofsky has been living in Jerusalem since 1984. Her poetry in English has appeared in various poetry and Jewish magazines and her poetry in French can be found on the Poésie Française site.

Last updated August 27, 2015