Issue 132 |
Spring 2017

Poland, 1981

Tanks run over the castle

of my childhood in December.

On our black-and-white TV

I see the riot police

shields and truncheons.

Vinegar is the only thing

you can buy in the stores.

Telephones turn into toys.

Because of a curfew,

my father’s bedtime stories

grow longer than ivy and

wilder than calendula.


Restless in bed, on the ceiling

I conjure green magical birds

that take us to their nests

in the mountains.

We are feathered and fly

in the orchards of edible dreams.


In the morning I line up my teddy bear,

doll, slippers, and boots

in front of the store I built

with wooden blocks.

If they wait long enough

in line and don’t fight,

they will get flour, meat,

toilet paper, chamomile tea,

and a herd of unicorns.