My mother was a canyon

the green river carved

through centuries of stone.


She was a long train winding

between red-mud hills,

wild cucumber springing from her tracks.


She was the sidewalk

outside an airport where

a solitary pigeon pecked at crumbs.


My mother became a cobble-stone

street slick with rain;

an impassive golden angel


watching me from her perch

above the Paris Opera as I dragged

my suitcase with its one broken


wheel.  My mother was

my grandmother’s derelict

house in Ostrowy


where the jackdaws never change,

calling “Kawka! Kawka!”

their ancient Polish name.

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