Elana Wolff

Use of the Room

We were rained out of Algonquin
Park, out of our makeshift tent. L
ucky we found a motelier
willing to let us
ten-to-a-room; the grandparents
got the bed, the grandkids squeez
ed between them, feet to head.
The wall-clock, like a Cyclops

, stopped to watch: our dreams
tip into twisty images; frozen star
es—yours and mine—like stags’
on mouldy shag; you and I
got the rug, the baby
stowed in the ark of a pulled-out
drawer. At random, like a biblio-

mant, I opened Gideon’s
Bible to Isaiah 12:3—
With joy you will draw
water from the wells
of salvation.

Our camp-stuff
hung like outsized tinsel,
wet on a room-shaped tree.

What I’m getting at is people
build up meaning between them
selves and all
the seemingly
random things
…………………..that present.
What matters is contending with
these afresh.


Elana Wolff lives and works in Thornhill, Ontario—the ancestral lands of the Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat First Nations. Her writing is widely published in Canada and internationally, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has recently appeared (or is forthcoming) in The Antigonish Review, Arc, Best Canadian Poetry 2021 and 2024, Contemporary Verse 2, DUSIEFreeFall, Galaxy Brain, The Nashwaak Review, Prairie FirePinhole Poetry, and Yolk. Her collection, SWOON, received the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry; her cross-genre Kafka-quest work, FAITHFULLY SEEKING FRANZ, was released with Guernica Editions in fall 2023.

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