Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois Denver, CO


I crouch behind a sheep pen

a deserter from Napoleon’s self-destructing Russian campaign

and through the open barn door

I see a haystack

and, as its getting dark

I think I can hide under some hay


That I did

sleeping soundly until pre-dawn

when I was awakened by the farmer’s daughter

come to milk cows


She was filled with lust by my sharp Gallic features

and my long lank jet-black hair

She was much stronger than me

I being a city man

and rather dissolute to start with

not a good fit for a soldier

but so many of us were unfit

and there against our will

and I was all tired and worn out

from all the marching and terror

but I was nevertheless aroused

and satisfied her


We had three children

and when her father died

she convinced me that we should move to France

where I still had relatives

who could give me work


As I said

she was healthy as any farm animal

but I had suffered too many insults

to my constitution

and I weakened and sickened

and my children

who grew into the image of their mother more every year

came around my bed with sad eyes

and recited Catholic prayers

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois
is a poet and novelist in Denver, CO several times nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


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