Anita Lerek

Sharing Skin: Anita Lerek

Sharing Skin

The family photograph says Warsaw, 1920. You and your friends step softly onto the public beach on the Vistula River as if breaking into a private home, a private country. So hard to be invisible as a Yiddish songbird—always scorned as too loud or too foreign for the Polish species. The unlocked sun makes you forget, and you swoop in to claim your territory, sand kingdom of the new Jewish girl and boy. Unafraid, you outrun fat gulls, shriek above the hysteria of waves. The hours fill your hands with hope that you trace along bodies slowly unwrapping. Nearby, strangers lounge, tumble on mighty rocks worn away over centuries—into particles of quartz and feldspar: migrants of different textures, colours, languages, travelling by winds and waters to settle along shorelines, to share the earth’s skin,

blown apart
forsaken grains,
no trace, from 1920


* Earlier version/title first appeared in Verse-Virtual online poetry journal in 2021.

Anita Lerek is a young writer, old mask. Born abroad (Poland), she retains a sense of otherness. Poetry and art saved her life. Some sample poetry publication credits include New Verse News, Offcourse Journal, One Art Journal of Poetry, and MacQueen’s Quinterly. She was nominated for Best of the Net, 2022, and is co-founder of a women’s online poetry group, Change Artists. A lawyer (non-practising) and a web entrepreneur, she lives with her archivist husband in Toronto, Canada.