A haunting dramatic monologue collaborated with University of Michigan students in the class Words and Music (taught by Composition faculty chair Evan Chambers and Creative Writing faculty Keith Taylor) , written by Kenzie Allen, composed by Daniel Sottile, and sung by Natasha Drake, depicting "a lullabye to be sung by Elisabeth Fritzl to her children (the title, “mein Mädchen,” would be how Josef would refer to both Elisabeth (his daughter) and her female children (who were also his daughters)— but he is not actually present in the singing of this piece, it’s a moment between Elisabeth and her children" , referring to [The Fritzl case, which emerged in April 2008 when a 42-year-old woman, Elisabeth Fritzl (born April 6, 1966), told police in the town of Amstetten, Austria, that she had been held captive for 24 years in a concealed corridor part of the basement area of the large family house by her father, Josef Fritzl (born April 9, 1935), and that Fritzl had physically assaulted, sexually abused, and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse by her father resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage; four of the children joined their mother in captivity, and three were raised by Josef and Rosemarie Fritzl and reported as foundlings.] (wikipedia). This monologue uses a recording of a celesta to fill in for a music box, which provides the setting for the piece.
Some nights the devil lies in me
as a sunken grave, and he sings:
Hush love, you hear the cries
of the city, each moan a deliveryman,
each weeping a street car, rusted
as many things can be. Someday,
the screen door will lie open,
and I will show you all these things.
Your legs will stretch long,
and you’ll run, and then fly
far from the stones of the cellar,
far from the hands that find you,
far from this, far from the man—
someday, the ocean, some night
your own bed, undisturbed.
Some day, the screen door
will lie open, and I will show you
Sunlight without glass. Rain
without cover. The breeze and
outside, everything outside
the city. Everything outside
what you’ve known. Some day,
your eyes will ache from light.
You will burst from this house
into a forest. I’ll take every
sin for my own. Don’t look back.
Don’t linger. But we wait
for the door to lie open.
When I say “run,” you go.
- Contemporary Opera