by Anna Swir
In the morning when he began setting
the bottles of gasoline in the gateway,
the janitor swore like mad.
stuck his tongue all the way out at him.
In the evening the soldiers brought him back,
he had set a tank on fire.
Now the janitor swore more softly as he dug a small hole
in the yard for that brat.
Anna Swir [Świrszczyńska] (1909–1984) was a Polish poet who survived the brutal Warsaw Uprising. This poem is from Building the Barricade (1979).