Sunday, October 23, 2011

Women of Poland












Against all odds,
Through hawk filled skies
A pair of homing pigeons fly.

Warsaw draped in swastikas,
The cobbles echoing
To goose-stepping boots,
Camps under construction,
New industries in the making,
Mechanising death.

Life goes on.
In every city, town, village,
Birds flock to the trees,
Codenamed wagtail,
Codenamed owl,
Codenamed sparrow,

Innocent, harmless birds,
Birds with two faces -
Teacher/intelligence officer,
Housewife/arms smuggler,
Countess/nurse,
Factory hand/saboteur,
Schoolgirl/courier.

O lost little sister,
How did you spread your wings?

Who could tell, from this
Sepia-toned studio portrait?
Rigid shoulders, high,
Defiant cheekbones,
Tight lips, the set of her jaw,
Flint in her eyes,
The bitterness, every morning,
Of facing the mirror, seeing
Her own mother glaring back.

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