Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens!, serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and is a composer; his poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.



A Head for Her Times

Martin Elster


She’d lost her head, but has a new one now.
Precisely how it happened, no one knew.
This flaxen-festooned oval-shaped machine,
whose retroflective eyes at twilight shine
like galaxies, sits nicely on her neck
and fits her ways. What’s more, it has a knack
for making her feel smart. She knows she’s blessed
to have it. With her trendy trousers bloused
over her boots, she rambles round the mall,
window-shopping, stopping for a meal
of sampler soups but, lonesome as a mole,
soon heads back home to brood about the future.
Time’s blemishing her body. The one feature
still fair — in actual fact downright bewitching —
is ever on the lookout, scanning, watching
for signs of wear below and, then, at last,
will take its leave for others who have lost
their noggins on its never-ending list.
Now, as she samples soup at the mall again,
a bozo moseys in with a laser gun.
While heads are being lost, her own stays cool,
showing her how to cripple or to kill
with a flying kick to the rogue’s unguarded belly —
a thing she’d never practiced, like ballet.
She’s wonderstruck when pondering this tool  
atop her trunk, which never fails to tell
her soma how to keep from harm. She leaves,
a woman of courage, and (for the moment) lives.