Sandra Kolankiewicz, Winter 2017

On the 75th Anniversary of the Defeat of Poland
Sandra Kolankiewicz

For John Guzlowski, who invited me to be Polish.

Their defeat was lovely, noble except
for the horses, and afterwards if you
were someone, nothing changed. Historically
they went to live at the court of the place
which had just defeated them, dependent,
prisoners of another sort but still
first in line for the potatoes. Likewise
we rebel but underestimate
the problem. Those are shadows coming
across the plains, yet we wait, wanting an
obvious enemy. Seventy-five
years is nothing to a trilobite or
the boy in the bow of a canoe where
the glistening light tells him he will live
forever. I think of you as if you
were already in your bed, myself like
I willingly packed up my clothes for a
life where I should be with the others.

Sandra Kolankiewicz’s most recent work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, BlazeVox, Gargoyle, Fifth Wednesday, Prick of the Spindle, Per Contra, Prairie Schooner, Appalachian Heritage, and Pif. Her books include Turning Inside Out, winner of the Black River Prize (Black Lawrence Press), The Way You Will Go (Finishing Line Press), and Blue Eyes Don’t (Hackney Award for the Novel). When I Fell, illustrated by Kathy Skerrittis, is available from Web-e-Books. She lives with her family in Appalachian Ohio. (


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