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How Jozef Korzeniowski became Joseph Conrad

When he first arrived in England,

Jozef K felt like a single whole pea

in a blob of mushy peas.

It is difficult to be surrounded

by squashed masses.

I wonder if his mother,

writing from the native land,

reminded him to be grateful:

“Be grateful for the mushy peas

as they’re full of opportunities.”

It is scary to be mushed,

let your insides out

have vinegar poured all over.

But Joseph C made his mother proud.

Jealous of his bravery,

I remain unmashed

making fish & chips uncomfortable.

by Inga Piotrowska

Inga Piotrowska is a Polish poet and translator currently living in Manchester, UK. Her first poetry book was published in Poland in 2018. Her English poetry was chosen to be published in harana poetry, Wild Roof Journal, Eye to the Telescope and Thimble Literary Magazine. She likes to explore the themes of family relationships, identity, and spirit.

British pea immigrant


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