The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I talked to my dad about his childhood in Poland as a kid. This would have happened in the 60's when Poland was under Communist rule and my father was about 7.  I don't characterize his father that much in this scene which will make more sense why in the other postcards coming up. This scene I just tried to focus on small aspects that show the quality of life and the daily doings for this time period.

In the small communist Polish village of Flesze laid the Różeński farm. Little Józef was wondering why they didn’t have electricity like the town of Grawejo just five kilometers away. He put on his tattered and muddy clothes in the dim light of a kerosene lamp. The deadline was tomorrow for their tax to be sent to the Soviet Union, despite toiling all season they would have to give up 75% of their yield. He heard a chicken crowing and acting up outside as his stomach grumbled. His tata’s stomach must have been to as he came into Józef’s room and motioned him to follow him.

They went to the coop where his tata picked up the plump and boisterous chicken by its orange shanks. They walked over to the cutting room where his tata extended his arm inviting little Józef to take hold of the dangling chicken. The poor chicken got no sympathy, from Józef or his tata. There wasn’t a Burger King close-by to get an Impossible Whooper. If you were lucky to have food, you sure as hell weren’t passing up on a chicken.

His tata grabbed the axe off the floor and blew a strong burst of air to sanitize the cold steel blade. He put the ax in Józef’s right hand. Józef laid the chicken down on the table clenching on tight to those orange shanks and grasping the wooden handle even tighter, as he wanted to make sure his first time went right. He brought the ax down as swiftly as any seven-year old can. He connected cleanly, evidenced by the loud snap and the ax being stuck into the wooden table.

He pulled the ax from the table and let go of the shanks. He let out a sigh of relief but was interrupted by a sudden flapping and bumping and knocking and flapping and knocking, as the chicken took flight one more time in its final transgression. Each collision with the wall forced more blood to spray out of its headless body in almost every degree around the room. Józef lunged for the chicken, but there was no predicting a chicken’s movement flying off its last electrical impulses. As blood stopped squirting and a few feathers were floating gently to the ground, the chicken thudded on the ground and laid to rest.

Józef’s cheeks were burning red. He had to hold the chicken inverted after the decapitation to drain the blood. Why did he even let go? His thin arms were covered in blood. The saving grace was that today was Saturday, the day of the weekly baths. He went to the kitchen to put a pot of water on the stove.

The Final Flight

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Flesze, Poland

I talked to my dad about his childhood in Poland as a kid. This would have happened in the 60's when Poland was under Communist rule and my father was about 7. I don't characterize his father that much in this scene which will make more sense why in the other postcards coming up. This scene I just tried to focus on small aspects that show the quality of life and the daily doings for this time period.

Decade: 1960s
Rating:
Recorded by Alex on December 3, 2019
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