cathy ulrich


She will be the wobble-wall barracks nestled side by side, she will be mothers sweeping floor-dust away, fathers stuffing rags and newspapers into cracks and holes, now we’ll keep the wind out, now we’ll sleep, she will be the words in newspaper editorials, their treacherous race, she will be the trains bringing families in, suitcases-full, she will be the night-dull guards and their guns, she will be we don’t want them here, and when you look at her, she will look back with the eyes of a child gazing through barbed wire to a world they aren’t allowed to touch.


She will be all iron groan and wave-roll, the cold of ocean water, she will be the champagne christening and happy families waving from the dock, she will be courses map-charted by the stars, the shining, silent stars, she will be the moon above, its reflection below, she will be captain’s dinners and fiddle-song dances, she will be ocean-scent on the wind, treasures lost, overturned luggage, toppled goblets, women and children first, she will be the band playing its final song, she will be the assurance, the blessed assurance, that nothing bad will ever happen, not here, not to us.

Cathy Ulrich often reads about things that feel like they happened a long time ago, but were more recent than you think. Her work has been published in various journals, including Puerto Del Sol, Invisible City and Lumiere Review.