Follow Różewicz

“. . . at twenty-four
led to slaughter,”
he recites, smokes his thick cigarettes,
his tenor voice betrays him, his endurance
all these years, he utters so many things
about days gone and villages raped and
winters that lasted decades, how the women
clenched their hands and held their backs
through the storms, the bitter rooms
made of mud and gas, he describes
the pellets, the singed flesh, the water
of ears, mercury and nipples and hair,
he stops for a second or two and dusts
his coat, I hadn’t noticed it, the lapels elegant,
pinned with messages, little reeds and stones,
a candle, a vase, a doorknob, a crib and a crutch,
stained letters curled into roses

Note: Tadeusz Różewicz is a Polish post-World War II poet and playwright (1921-).