Poetry written by Hania Kaczanowska


God how I hate the cold

As the piercing frost of winter begins to take its hold

I can’t help but think “God how I hate the cold!”
As I wrap my clothing closer to keep out the chill
My thoughts instantly dash back to a time past and still.

Of valiant suffering and strength and a story rarely told,
Of a journey remembered by those who are now old.
On February 10th, 1940 a mass deportation took place
In God’s silence, masses of Polish people were to be erased.

Ripped from their homes and herded like lambs to slaughter
Barely surviving on bits of frozen bread and boiled water.
In bondage and deprived by brothers of kindness and humanity
Clinging to each other like wounded sparrows in a boundless eternity

Because of one man’s evil soul and murderous hand
A nation of people was sent to an inhuman land.
The life they’d once known disappeared as tho’ it had never been
And was replaced by images that should’ve never been seen.

Mothers huddled their children as they drew their last breaths
As the wicked Siberian winters drew them to their deaths.
Fathers lost their sons and sons lost their fathers.
No one was spared this wrath as it awaited all the others.

Their cries of pain must have reached Heaven’s gates
As they prayed to be released from this insufferable fate.
Everyday they worked the frozen forests with each step patrolled
And all must have silently whispered “God how I hate the cold!”

Gnawing pains of hunger replaced joyous memories once shared
As children of Poland faced each day confused and scared.
Weakened by sickness, thousands of broken spirits soared to the sky
And were guided by waiting white eagle’s wings in order to fly.

There would be no more hunger and no more cold
Except for those who remained on earth and dared to grow old.
And they, like the spirits of their pasts, fly by guided eagle’s wings
As they remind us of their youth and teach us many valuable things.

The blood of our ancestors flows directly within our earthly veins
That is why we remember the cold, their sorrows and their pains.
I think many of Poland’s children can truthfully say
They all recognize this chill I speak of, on a frost-laden day.

For in that moment, spirits of past within you entwine
So you won’t forget their passage of time.
And with guided angel wings and white eagles leading the way
The trail of their history is brought to your life everyday.

Learn from their stories of the journey to hell
Make note of their struggles and remember them well
And when the frost of winter fleetingly bites at your face
Embrace it as you exhale its pain with dignity and grace.

For you are now the voice silenced many years ago
And the cold just makes you remember what the world must know.


                                              2005

                                             *****

4 The Archangel in a Soldier's Boot

4 Mamusia and the Red Scarf
5/7 Long Road to the Army
6 The Ghostly Soldier of Buzuluk
9 The Eagle's Tear
9 Dziadek did you have a Gun?
11 The Polish Soldier

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