"On the Ride to Stargard"
Natalia wakes me at 5:30 a.m. for work. She shakes my arm and I take out the earplugs that I’ve started wearing to block out the noise of the upstairs neighbors.
They wake up even earlier than we do. Natalia and I both start work at 8 a.m., but she works right here in town, her hometown in Poland, and I need to take the train to the language school all the way in Szczecin.
We’d already been living in town several months the first time we saw Milena.
It was a few weeks before Christmas, and she was standing at the row of vegetables in Biedronka, turning a head of cabbage over in her hands.