adam lizakowski

Rookie (Poland)

A Poem About Thaddeus Kosciuszko - Poem by adam lizakowski

A poem about Thaddeus Kosciuszko

Maybe it had something to do with the stars
eyes, dreams, lips, and the days and nights
of politics or the difficulty of spelling Thaddeus Kosciuszko's name:
after all, George Washington the planter who felt exploited
by British merchants, hampered by their regulations.
The first president of the United States
wrote it eleven different ways in dispatches and letters
before he finally got it right:

The wrong spelling is not the end of the world:
each May, trees of lilacs bloom
and leaves of grapevines are looking for shadows
and the sun warms the fruit of cherry trees.

Thaddeus, like the waves of the ocean
looking for shore, looked for America:
fighting against British against all who are
against the freedom to smell flowers,
the pursuit of liberty and happiness -
the fruits of prosperity.

The tales of old, how he was assigned to the fortifications
at West Point, which George Washington
saw as the key to protecting the Hudson River from the British,
where the fog tore itself on the sharp reeds,
where herons come back every year
and in the geese live in cattails.

After seven years of fire and the booms of cannons,
Kosciuszko was promoted to brigadier general,
received American citizenship and a grant of land,
but instead returned to the place where he was a child
to his fatherland with these words on his lips;
“When I see you the world looks even prettier
and the Earth is full of joy and I am a better man.”
The battle for the freedom of his own country was lost,
he lost the right to look straight at the sun,
but in Poland, every major town has a street
or square named for Kosciuszko, and he is not forgotten.

Thaddeus liked to dance and play piano, painted portraits of ladies,
looked straight into the sky where the cranes fly slowly,
at night the wind carries the songs of slaves
their quiet voices spoke to his heart
he willed his estate to be used to buy
the freedom of the slaves of his old friend Thomas Jefferson.

Many years had passed then people
understood the meaning of the slaves songs
many dreams that could not change the world
but one day a man with dream was born
that stop the storm, break the iron chains
and Thaddeus will fulfill.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 26, 2010

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