a certain distance, by J.M. Kolodzyk

The little boy with brown hair

standing there as a regression in time

            a bright red balloon in one hand,

a bouquet of flowers dipping down onto the dusty floor in the other—

deep ocean blues, glowing sunset reds pulsing magically at his feet—

smiling, waiting for tata to rush through the crowded arrival gate,

the boy sees him pushing through as if escaping a reprimand,

he reaches to pick the boy up as if trying to save him from falling,

at last, kisses and hugs wash over the boy like warm, summer rain

and he expresses in Polish

the pain of absence

the ache of this impedes anything more.


The crowd of strangers

with strange eyes—

seemingly distrusting and disappointed glares

meet him like a wall of wind,

pushing his luggage and body away

toward an empty space in the awaiting area—

was there no one to greet him, welcome him?

where was the little boy?

And then a figure appears,

a shadow of the past—

the large Polish man waves him over,

greets him with a formal część and handshake—

a welcoming absent of family-style cheek-kisses nor enveloping hug—

then, the lone, long ride to the approved meeting place

lets him drift into the mist and daydream

the fields of shocking-yellow mustard flowers enhance the vision

the little boy with flowers runs to him from a distance

he is never able to match the rushing speed,

both lost in the blur of the moment

so far away from substance

mental fingers gripping the edge.

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