Meanwhile

Sandra Kolankiewicz

Instead, we bought things even though we knew

purchasing would improve nothing, would make

the days worse as the bills came in, too fraught

or angry to sit down in front of that

screen with the rest.


Likewise, the garden was

neglected though full of former splendor,

the season a long one which had begun

well.


No longer a part of it, wanting

to be alone and share at the same time,

we stayed in our rooms, listening to news,

plenty to hear or avoid, depending

on the nearness of the radio.


Why

do I find confessing this so hard,

the real danger not the storm brewing just

east of the country but the one raging

inside, each to his own, fueled by hormones

or fear, memories and clashing senses

of what is rightfully our own and what

we should become for others, program guests

discussing the plights of people far off

with no back yard nor fruit trees, winter way

on the other side of parched mountains, blown

this way on a dry wind, words still here

when we change frequencies.


How do I say

we’ve no right to be miserable as

long as God comes every Sunday to dine

and stays through dessert, whoever he is,

whatever he looks like, having survived

the inquiry into his passport to

prove he’s one of us and can be trusted.


Since 1980, over 300 of Sandra Kolankiewicz’s poems and stories have appeared in reviews and anthologies, most recently in London Magazine, New World Writing, BlazeVox, Prairie Schooner, Bellingham Review, Gargoyle, Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday, ArGiLo, Per Contra, and Pif. Turning Inside Out won the 2008 fall Black River contest at Black Lawrence Press. Finishing Line Press published The Way You Will Go and will soon release Lost in Transition. When I Fell, a novel with 76 color illustrations by Kathy Skerritt, is available from Web-e-Books.