Sabbath morning rakes
my skin as I tour
St. Mary’s to learn
how the names of dead
Poles speak.
Headstones shiver
as I photograph rows
of silent “ski’s” and
“wicz’s. Eroded
dates yield no
parentheses of time.
Squirrels’ nails catch
on tree bark as they
spiral upward in chase;
crows idle
on branches high above,
signals the dead
would understand if
they had ears to listen.



Claudia M. Stanek’s work has been turned into a libretto, been part of an art exhibition, and been translated into Polish. Her chapbook, Language You Refuse to Learn, was published by Bright Hill Press (2014). Other poems have been published in Redactions, Euphony, Ruminate, Fourth River, and Conte Online, among others.


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