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    painting of telephone wires and a railroad

    Poem: “Poland, 1985”

    By Jacqueline Saphra

    April 30, 2022
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    • Mary Kressin

      Ohhh this gave me the shivers… We visited Poland. My Aunt lived there during WW2. I heard stories. This poem makes an impact. Thank you

    And the façades of Warsaw bared
    their scrubbed-up skins; liveried waiters

    offered nothing on the menu; bath water
    rusted; the country roads were calm,

    a past I sought long overgrown,
    the state of currency still volatile,

    human traces vague, all guesses wild.
    Nothing left to find; nothing and no one.

    But oh, the language: soft-tongued,
    apologetic; those legends of tracks

    pointing towards infinity; haystacks,
    horse-drawn carts; disappearing villages

    where elders with wizened sensibilities,
    surely hungry for redemption, would

    offer water, sanctuary and bread.
    Perhaps they remembered. Perhaps

    going about their rural business
    they thought of all those trains; night

    and day, the passing of human freight.
    But then again, perhaps not.

    painting of telephone wires and a railroad

    Marta Zamarska, Misty Rails, batik (paint and hot wax on fabric), 2008 Used by permission.

    Contributed By JacquelineSaphra Jacqueline Saphra

    Jacqueline Saphra is a poet and playwright.

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