Two Poems by Elka Scott


SLYVIA 

The 1950’s hangs over womanhood like a specter, Like the ghost of a dead poet. She stalks the halls of nostalgia, Shaking pill bottles to and fro. She is shut like a shell, Weighed down by the sand and grit around her, An inelegant ocean. 

The banalities of femaleness settle around her She looks more at home in it Then I do. The modern woman, Who is not a woman, Who is a woman somedays, Both confined and liberated By ribbons and lace. You cannot revisit something That you have never left to begin with. 

We remember the times we had to be all things domestic When today’s woman must be pan, All, Everything to everyone Self-care’s champion The lamb looking straight ahead. The specter does not know she is dead yet, Her tobacco-stained fingers still thumb through magazines Listen to the radio We pretend for her that things are still the same And we pretend for ourselves that things are different.

 


SELKIE 

Lizzie Borden’s father gifted her a sealskin cape After a lifetime of Lukewarm dinners under flickering candles Cold sittings in the outhouse No other recorded acts of generosity Such extravagance Seemed out of place 

The seal-folk of the British Isles Were brought to land by the theft of their skins Prisoners of lust and sand It was only in the reclaiming of their skins That they were free To return home again 

I sometimes imagine Lizzie Borden Covered in the blood of her pet pigeons Wondering what burden such small things could have been Her father, with the axe, staring into the middle distance 

Like the selkie stares at the sea 

Cursing the land that has taken their home from them 

The question remains Could women do such things As abandon children they were never meant to have Or murder parents who neglected them And killed their pets Gave them sealskin capes Kept them on the shores When they were always meant to dance in the waves 

Women learn to shed their skins 

From an early age

We learn to shed blood later

And we never unlearn it. 


Elka Scott would like to say that they do their best writing in the glow of winter moonlight while drinking vintage wine. They actually do their best writing in the glow of a computer monitor while double-fisting Dr. Pepper and vitamin water. Elka writes short and novel-length fiction as well as poetry.
Elka lives in snowy Saskatchewan, where they are studying to become an art therapist. They hope to merge their passions for writing and psychology. They live in Snowy Saskatchewan and recently received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to complete a script for their first graphic novel. When they aren’t writing, Elka Scott enjoys watching horror movies with all the lights on, reading old comics, and drinking tea in the summer.  You can find them online at:
Instagram: @inkstainedelka