I’m in Europe somewhere, possibly Germany. The grass is impossibly tall, up to the horses’ eyes. There are wolves in pens with sheep. The wolves have black spots spray-painted on their sides. They are guardians. I walk up a path, past tiny cattle. One of the wolves walks up next to me, beside me, rubs against me, like a friendly dog. I try not to be afraid.
We arrive at a clearing. There is a large stage, and a patio table. My mother is at the table, saving seats. The light is dim, but a spotlight shines on the stage, only then it dips and shines on my mother. She is displeased. They fix the spotlight and continue with the somber event.
A curtain is drawn back. A portion of a bus, or is it a boat? is revealed, with an old man sitting, telling his story. Another old man joins him. The stories are sad. War stories. Stories of loss. I listen although part of me doesn’t want to hear.
A woman I know silently passes me a packet of her craft projects, small beaded items, along with their packaging. She wants me to package her wares as I listen. I can’t. My hands won’t work correctly while I am hearing these stories and watching my mother. I have to be in the moment. I look for the wolves but they are missing. I can only save myself.