by Eleanor Close Kraft

Focused on the ground right in front of her, every step an exercise in full concentration. Don’t fall. Keep moving. Don’t fall. She’s holding fast to the mast of my forearm. Wiry male dancers in XXL sombreros and flaring ponchos swirling all around us. Costumed characters cracking bullwhips on the asphalt in syncopated bouts. Mariachi trumpets and cheers of Viva Mexico! Undercurrents of subwoofer bass pouring in from side streets. I keep her close and stay the course. Our mission: traverse Constitution Avenue at the height of Fiesta DC. Ten yards to go, I glance at her and see them. The whip bearers: crimson devil tailing me, prancing jaguar after her, pointing to the leopard-print scarf covering her head and shoulders. Stepping onto the curb with the museum ramp in sight, I yell to my 95-year-old mom Look behind you! The tension in her face dissolves into laughter. A golden moment in this dance of life.

Eleanor Close Kraft is a creative copywriter based in Zurich who works mostly with branding clients in Switzerland and writes poetry now and then for pleasure. A Colorado native, she grew up hearing the coyotes call, but she’s happy to howl with The Woolf as well.