Rejected by men, alive
to love, the bridge troll waits
for the yellow-skirted girl
to make her weekly crossing.
Where she goes, what she brings
with her in her bag is unknown.
She sings to herself.
Her baskets and parcels smell good.
He once lived in the woods
in a house made of stone.
Each evening after dark,
he’d sit outside his kitchen window,
enjoying in silence the memory
of scents from the meal he ate.
The warmth of those evenings
suspended his sleepiness.
Before bed he’d kill a deer or bear
for the next day of meals.
The rest—how that life fell apart,
how he ended up here,
how he used to get what he wanted
and now pines for what
makes him seem to others
monstrous, he can’t recall.