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American Polish Working Class Poetry

David Spencer


Polish Easter

In the shape of a Cross on the wall

leaves from the palms of Palm Sunday

are nailed, as if to ward off spirits.

Baskets of food to Easter Mass

like offerings to a temple.

The procession bends down

At the end of the mass

To kiss the wound

In the side of the Crucifix.

Polish Gothic

Tall brick buildings, with attics and basements,

brown brick buildings, built in the 30s

surround the god, Steel Mill,

engulf the church, St Michael's Cathedral,

towering like a medieval castle over a peasant village.

South shore tracks of the Illinois Central,

olive drab metal with tan rattan seats

clunking, jolting through South Chicago

83rd Street to Roosevelt Road Station,

its steep zig-zag wooden stairs blackened with age.

Get up in the morning, work in the Mill,

go home when you're through, or go to the tavern.

Get up in the morning, work in the Mill,

rise and kneel in the Church on Sunday.

Back to the April 2004 Issue
The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 4/23/04