From Pub Crawl Poems
by Paige Elizabeth Wajda
Chata Śląska, on the old cobbled street, stumbling distance from the bus station. It is long past the witching hour and we are loony with beer and tasteless jokes. Loving as the dawn, a student named Leszek comes marching through the doors, a bundle under his arms-in-coats. He sits besides his inebriated teachers, revealing a steaming newborn bread loaf from the bakery next door, where days are beginning and not ending. He pulls off pieces with his dark miner’s hands, dividing them amongst our foreign palms. We pull the bread into our mouths, without accoutrement, and in the concrete blocks of flats beyond our damp room, the sun rises, as if all the town is laden with gifts.
This poem received second place in our 2023 Prose Poetry Competition.
Paige Elizabeth Wajda is from Southern California. She lived in Poland for several years and hold a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her work has recently appeared in Hearth & Coffin, The Comstock Review, and Amsterdam Quarterly.