by Sandra Kolankiewicz

In the whole county, there wasn’t a single
         angle, the local joke: none of us could
make a straight line.  We brought our school books home
         every night but never read them, out there
playing kick-the-can or sardines until
         they called us in, all of the mothers in
the kitchens watching between stirring and
         rinsing.  They must have told us nothing was
safe, but we didn’t listen, our horses
         in the barns ready to escape down old
railroad beds, the rails and ties salvaged long
         before, a cindered line through and beyond
but never direct, always curved into
         the distance wherever you stood so that from
childhood we knew we would never quite see
         where we were headed until we arrived.
We tossed our jackets and said goodbye to
         the day too soon, should have lingered at the
bus stop making evening plans.  He wouldn’t
         have found her alone, daydreaming beside
the empty road, her house just around the bend.


Sandra Kolankiewicz is the author of several collections of
poems including
Turning Inside Out, which was released by
Black Lawrence Press in 2009, and 2014’s
The Way You Will
from Finishing Line Press.  Her most recent collection,
Lost in Transition, was published by Finishing Line Press in
2017.  Kolankiewicz’s poems have appeared in
, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The London Magazine,
Per Contra, and elsewhere.   

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 12, Number 2
(Fall 2017)

Copyright © 2017
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.