Jet Lag

four in the morning here, noon there
no longer night, not yet morning
disrupted circadian rhythm suspends me between
two continents severed by an ocean.
No-Man’s Land – that surreal stretch of urban pavement
width of Brandenburg Gate
within shadows of construction cranes, skeletons of skyscrapers
erupt like tectonic plates from Potsdamer Platz.

like a passenger thrown overboard
I clutch a buoy, breathe in scent of European earth
– battlefields fertilized with blood, rubble, gunpowder;
forests flash
movie cassette fast-forwarded through train window
mechanical hum of engine
clank of shifting tracks.

I dream in two languages
mother tongue detonated through embryonic fluid
the other apprehended in school
on the street
the one I translate from
conversations with family, friends
faces tauten
they wave from the platform
figures recede with distance

~ Barbara Janusz

A graduate from the University of Alberta with Bachelors of Arts and Laws degrees, Barbara Janusz resides in the Crowsnest Pass, where she is engaged as a contributing writer for EnviroLine, The Business Publication for the Environmental Industry. Runner up winner of the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize in 2001, she has published essays, short stories and poetry in various literary journals, anthologies and magazines.

One Response to “Jet Lag”

  1. Very nice piece, filled with the awkward in-between sense of being there and here, simultaneously, with a strong sense of voice and place. Well done. Rob

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