Lea Graham

2021 Michelle Boisseau Poetry Prize Winning Poem

In A Polish Dream

I am sleeping & driving

from the back seat

through night & snow.

 

Waking, still in the dream,

I realize & reach for the wheel. 

Something isn’t right about my life.

I am excited

driving this dark away

from the past into

other pasts.

 

Years later & one morning,

our Polish neighbors across the way

have given us pork & bread

spread with lard for breakfast.

 

The night before, you sang

“Happy Birthday” with a woman

named Beata, drank vodka

& wine in a rectangle of light,

raised our glasses

with these unknown,

familiar people

here on the Adriatic coast,

near Dante’s grave.

photo Spain.png

 

Lea Graham is the author of two poetry collections, From the Hotel Vernon (Salmon Press, 2019) and Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books, 2011); a fine press book, Murmurations (Hot Tomato Press, 2020), and three chapbooks, Spell to Spell (above/ground Press, 2018), This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch (Apt. 9 Press, 2016) and Calendar Girls (above/ground Press, 2006). She is the editor of the anthology of critical essays: From the Word to the Place: The Work of Michael Anania (MadHat Press, 2022). She is an associate professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and a native of Northwest Arkansas.

Bear Review

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