A Poem

By Ewa Chrusciel


Children swing on a rope down to a river. Water is shocked by this splutter. We stay
on shore, even though we know the water is master of gravitation and will save us
from flight. Unlike Mary’s Yes, a swing into hearts ajar.

I dream of the day when my syllables will hold rough wood, my letters will be sewn in a stove or
fireplace. It’s not the sacrifice we resist, but the beauty. The intensity of the instance burns. For it
has to turn into another instance. There is nobility in asking the same thing over and over.

Children swing on a rope down to a river. Water is shocked by this splutter. The truth burns us
before it falls away. We remain on shore.

When did she start to witness evanescence? The animals saw her suffering in light
and saw that it was good and took her light in suffering. A dog started to bleed.
A cat died after she left. Life was not enough. The occasional splutter of light.
The simplicity of smile. There is nobility in asking.

Children swing on a rope down to a river.

Nico’s Aya speaks of light and evanescence. The blessing of his Grandmother. Woven DNA
patterns. Now it has holes and no warmth, but the child holds onto it and repeats: “AYA’s
church.” Not knowing that Aya, his grandmother, wove him into Being.
There were many blankets. The plants saw and knew it was good. There is nobility
in weaving the same blanket over and over. We are impatient to rid ourselves of time.
It takes centuries for Arctic plants to spread and form a quaking mat, a circumference
of clarities.

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EWA CHRUSCIEL won the 2009 Emergency Press International Book Contest for Strata, her first book published in English. Prior to Strata, she released two books in Poland-Furkot and Sopilki. Chrusciel's poems and translations have appeared in many books, anthologies and magazines in Poland, England, Italy, and the United States, including The Boston Review, The Colorado Review, and Aufgabe, Jubilat, Spoon River Review. She is a professor of humanities at Colby-Sawyer College.

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