I Want All 27 Returned!
—Sign in River Falls, WI

She keeps an eye out,
the large woman with trolls, glowering in heavy glory
at each passerby.

College boys stumbled
upon their puzzled faces and caps. Those drunk,
unshakable boys robbed her painted red cheeks—
They clomped
over iris, the iron gate—believing she couldn’t detect
the loss.
How strange the human spirit.

Their small bulk pop up in town:
displayed on bars with the banal,
mixed with Kinni river rocks,
or night watchers.

Her heavy arm lingers over sullen grounds. She taps iris,
her iron gate, noting the loss. 
Doors creak in her mind. How could so many pieces
of her heart escape?
Her quiet, white men—
her ceramic souls.

—Elise Gregory, Ellsworth, WI