Sandra Kolankiewicz‘s poems have appeared widely, most recently in Otis Nebulae, Trampset, Concho River Review, London Magazine, New World Writing and Appalachian Heritage. Turning Inside Out was published by Black Lawrence. Finishing Line has released The Way You Will Go and Lost in Transition.

Compassion in Midair

You’ve been trying to dump responsibly
that last load of unwelcomed memories

either by recycling them, which involves
classification by mutual terms,

(impossible to do these days since we
have only polar ends); or taking them

one by one into the Evil Forest
to discard against a giant tree (it’s

forbidden to dig there); or by ancient
custom of throwing them down into the

hollow (if you’re in the east) or the gulch
(west), pushing earth with a bull dozer to

cover up secrets. Hide is what you do
to lurch toward moods you’re happy to have,

subbing one location for another
till you feel peaceful, enough resources

for geographical cure except those
few character flaws that drag you down and

out, all you once said or did not speak, there
teasing you like mayflies over a stream.

So you look when you should ignore, which shows
a lack of the sort of judgement needed

to steadily succeed, recollection
of bafflement your constant companion,

ringing in ears from those unexpected
rifle shots when you didn’t cover your

ears to protect against the intruding
roar which now overpowers symphony,

hovers over a baby’s noiseless sleeping,
interrupts confession in booth and chair,

sorrow like a wavelength from the past,
competing with compassion in midair.

This Daily Making and Doing

I’m not sure how to tell my dear friend of 
my garden, for she gave up on dirt long 
ago, stopped watching plants as she withdrew 
from life. In fact, flowers make her nervous, 
their unpredictable beauty, the round
insistent bees so attracted they lose 
all sense of place, vulnerable and drunk 
on pollen, clinging to the yellow eyes 
of plump daisies swaying in the breeze like 
sailors in the crow’s nest after too much 
rum. Even relaxing in a partial
sun beam would do her good, exhausted by 
fervor and possibility, the news 
channel drowning all out as if there is 
nothing she can do to change anything 
but where she’s lying at the moment. You 
still have time to find another self to 
love, I want to say. This daily making 
and doing which comes to naught means nothing 
for a reason, something I am just now
discovering and so do not yet have 
words to explain, waiting for goldfinch to
perch on sunflower, the buds to blossom.