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A Cross of Polish Wood

Told to take nothing
he took the cross
his mother gave him
two clean-planed strips
made one by four nails
and a figure in lead

But he didn't pray in the box cars
he whispered and listened to whispers—
talk of Polish honor
and the strength of lances

of Anders and Sikorski—
and someone always said
"Warsaw will never fall
Panzers are only made of steel"

The fall of Warsaw taught him to pray
sent him to his knees in Magdeburg
to the nails and the lead
and the clean-planed Polish wood

 

©1999 John Guzlowski

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