Yankees in Katowice

(For Linda and Tony Foster)

It’s a quarter past midnight at Roundabout
we are killing time until
the Warsaw – Vienna train arrives
with Tony’s lost camera
– such a tiny miracle

We’re hanging around the monument,
I’m trying to explain to Linda these Wings,
I’m using Yeats and my grandpa,
involving a couple of metaphors,
you know, Linda, it’s like your frontier,

Dividing, uniting,
she nods understanding
and tells her family story,
but I’m not supposed to use it,
this is her poem

Tony takes pictures with my camera,
none of them will be OK,
what’s the point if magic is right here
between the Words and the Wings,
Grand Rapids and the center of Katowice,

Where now, in the stream of time, cars,
and our consciousness
from two extreme locations,
we discover the thread dragged
by fate so analogically

As if someone wrote a monodrama
preserving the unity of
time, place and action,
It’s like drinking a Coke with Frank O’Hara
at McDonald’s in Stawowa street,

Singing myself with Walt Whitman
on a bench in the Kosciuszko Park,
hanging around the Roundabout with Linda and Tony
a quarter past midnight
– such a tiny miracle

18 February 2012


Silesian Insurgents Monument / photo: Paweł, Wikimedia Commons