top of page

Your Own Heart, a Poem by Peter Kaczmarczyk

I grew up thinking

My suburban life

Filled with liberal minds

And high-minded rhetoric

Had taught me all

I needed to know

But you cannot know

Until you have

Seen with your own eyes

Felt with your own heart

I drove a taxi in Boston

Saw hungry families

Try to pay their fares

With food stamps and sexual favors

Where racist drivers

Left people of color

Standing alone, waving arms

Only wanting a ride

To get out of the cold

I lived in rural Indiana

Saw poverty and loss of hope

Drive good-hearted people

To slowly take their own lives

Through drink and drugs

And self-destructive hate

Hate that they turned on

Whoever they saw as the other

I traveled in Paris

Saw camps of Romany

And dark-skinned immigrants

Spit upon and cursed

By those of a society

Who thought themselves

The most cultured and civilized

Of all the people of the world

I did not know

The truth of the world

Till I saw with my own eyes

Felt with my own heart


Peter Kaczmarczyk was raised in New England and has lived the last 30 years in Southern Indiana. His works are inspired by, and grounded in, his life, loves, travels, and experiences. Peter strives to create poems that are without pretense and accessible to all, and hopes that his words will resonate with those who read them. He is always surrounded by cats. He has been published in the anthology Hidden in Childhood and the Passionfruit Review. He is co-creator of the Captain Janeway Statue in Bloomington, Indiana.


bottom of page