Sandra Kolankiewicz/ Poetry Spring, 2015

Sandra Kolankiewicz


Emotional Morphogenesis

Some things don’t need to be repeated. Put
it on that long list of slips you’ll never
make again. Then heap faults high, seeded with
alfalfa or nasturtium, something that
feeds and gives pleasure to the eye of a
cow. Sprinkle the lot like grains of bone meal
around the tulips you plant before you
surrender them to the squirrels, glad to
let them go because, although no one tells,
beneath every flower, at the heart of
each germinating seed, in the essence
of the stirring root is a kernel of
shame. Imagine my surprise to see all
my sins germinating a garden of
foxglove, monk’s hood, turtle head, chamomile
of daisy centers now the source of my
medicinal peptides! One compound can
be another, mimicry so ancient,
having adapted so wisely, all parts
matching every little strip of our code.

That Smote When You Did Not

The moment you didn’t leave, I knew you
were gone inside that place you carry with
you like a medicine bag around your
neck, full of trinkets that might have helped you
once but are useless, forty years later.
Yes, running away when you were afraid
was wise. Not venturing out of your back
yard prudent when you had a mother with
a paddle she painted black and hung on
the wall, compliance over the dinner
table like a shrouded door letting the
neighborhood know death was there. In the tub
you cut your skin, safer than saying. Now
you’re caught in the eclipse of who you were
and are, what you might have done and what you
clearly fear you’ll never do, as if you
should have tried when you were young instead of
now, when you’re no longer fear the hand that
smote when you did not learn, kept you behind
a gate long broken and never repaired.
RSRpic 2Nearly 200 of Sandra Kolankiewicz’s poems and stories have appeared in journals over the past thirty-five years, featured in such places as Mississippi Review, North American Review, Confrontation, Gargoyle, Rhino, Prick of the Spindle, Cortland Review, Fifth Wednesday, Louisville Review, and in the anthologies Sudden Fiction andFour Minute Fiction. Her chapbook Turning Inside Out won the Black River Chapbook Competition at Black Lawrence Press. Blue Eyes Don’t Cry won the Hackney Award for the Novel. The Way You Will Go is available from Finishing Line Press.  She teaches at a community college in West Virginia.


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