Sandra Kolankiewicz ~ Two Poems

Before the Desert

Before the desert, I shook trees for
you, beat bush­es, trav­eled far and wide, high
and low, both inside and out through the course
of unfor­tu­nate con­se­quences, the
def­i­n­i­tion of matu­ri­ty that
I final­ly rec­og­nize my sense of
self as an illu­sion.  I was in the
same mind as she who is doing something
she will lat­er regret.  When you hang a
light from the wall, how­ev­er, you begin
to see pos­si­bil­i­ty, suddenly
able to remem­ber one good act you
made, a sin­gle wave of beau­ty in the
tip of your fin­ger, the moment you lost
your­self to respond as if the body
did not mat­ter.  We can tell each other
every­thing now, liv­ing in a wasteland
we once believed uninhabitable.

Moon Doubled and Rare

How do I explain the last night of summer
that I’ll remem­ber, for now that the book bag’s
full, there’s not a lot I’ll recall, careening
through, lucky if I catch my breath.  Every time
I unload a lit­ter of kit­tens, more come
on lit­tle pads with intractable claws.  I
forsee their future furtive­ly lived in
bush­es, no one to purr for or with, a whole
life of singing alone. So we should wave as
I load them for the ride to the shel­ter and you
dri­ve off in your grandmother’s car, her ashes
in the church­yard, an emp­ty box next to her
for the urn of the man who out­lived her,
out­comes ran­dom, the moon dou­bled and rare


Sandra Kolankiewicz’s work has appeared wide­ly over the past 35 years, most recent­ly in Appalachian Heritage, Gargoyle, Fifth Wednesday, Prick of the Spindle, Per Contra, Prairie Schooner, Appalachian Heritage, and Pif. Turning Inside Out won the Black River Prize at Black Lawrence Press. Finishing Line Press pub­lished The Way You Will Go and will soon release Lost in Transit.  Blue Eyes Don’t Cry won the Hackney Award for the Novel. Her nov­el with 76 col­or illus­tra­tions by Kathy Skerritt, When I Fell, is avail­able from Web-e-Books.  She lives with her fam­i­ly in Appalachian Ohio.  Here is her Website.