Kresy Family

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A  R  T  S

POETRY
written by Martin Stepek


I lay down on the shores of Pahlevi


I lay down on the shores of Pahlevi and wept


My body could not stop shaking


From the dysentery


My emaciated frame of bones hugged the sand in gratitude


As my frail loose skin blew in the sea breeze

And the salt water flowed over my filthy remains

How I shuddered with convulsive tears

And delight at the gentle warmth of the sun

and the coolness of the sea and the wind

And I didn’t care if I lived or died

I was so very happy

To be no longer in the Soviet Union

Free to die free, at last

If not to survive

As if that were possible

But no, to die was enough,

Free, in the caring hands

Of the British, the Persians,

And oh – how I’m crying again –

My Polish soldiers,

My own folk.

Look at them, in proud uniform

And health, their skin tight

And love on their faces

As they look to help me up.


I’m sorry I am crying so much,

To be helped by my people

And they so well

Who only weeks before must

Have been, like me, rags and bones

Fit only for the grave

And yet, look, they positively shine health

Perhaps, oh don’t get excited,

It may be too much, I may die of hope

That I might live yet

That I might live

And even feel again.

Look at me, I’m in a state,

Beyond control.

The irony. For days I had no water

Now I’m pouring it out of my eyes.

And orange juice! The British bring me orange juice

On a tray my God, a tray.

I have not seen a tray for..

For, my, I don’t know the years any more

Since Poland, since home

Since mama and papa,

Oh mama.



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