Wild Garlic: The Journal of Maria X.
Elisavietta Ritchie has long been concerned about poets and other creative artists in prison, be it in Russia or in too many other countries with repressive regimes. A "disappeared" balladeer in a Latin American prison symbolizes the crises of the "disappeared" of whatever profession in Argentina.
Originally this series of poems, individually published in diverse places, became a chapbook, which then turned into a prose piece for the fiction collection In Haste I Write You This Note: Stories & Half-Stories, winner of Washington Writers' Publishing House premiere fiction competition. © 2000
Everyone in here is named Maria. The pregnant Marias have tins of milk, beef in their soup. Sometimes a baby is born. Always taken away. Often the mother also disappears. Then, through my window grille, I notice dirt disturbed in the cemetery beyond the walls. In a week, it blends with the ground.
Beyond the walls, wives of the guards push perambulators….
Winter is a long-term sentence, spring a season of false arrests, broken paroles. At last, spring comes to the yard. Rats scramble over each other squealing with rodent ardor. Vultures bear twigs for nests in the belfry. The guards drink, fire rifles at birds or at us, toss dice to determine who wins the blonde Maria tonight.
New women are brought in. New bonds of friendship form.