There Were Wolves in Poland

A secret writer from a pragmatic blue-collar neighborhood, Marie White Small brings her skills as a florist, waitress, antiquarian bookseller, bookbinder, cook, and pie-baker to the page.


Friends, I thought I would share the first chapter of my new novel, There Were Wolves in Poland. I am posting part of the first chapter here with a link to a download for the entire chapter. Hope you enjoy it.


There Were Wolves in Poland

Chapter One

The world is small and refines itself always in this way: What seems insignificant becomes the larger essence. I learned this from my brother as we drove along a flat, still road when the first full measure of springtime pulsed in the air. An opaque moon hung over the centerline. The land rolled out like fresh sod—gridded and exact, as if grass had always grown that way. I have mostly lived my life in numbers and columns, in precision and linear purpose—I was an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, and still view the world through such a prism. It’s too late now for anything different.

On that morning, whizzing by glorious landscape seemed a study in magic. I had become housebound, now fully confined by the wheelchair and falling into an ever-shrinking world. Yet, I was in a springtime stupor, heading southwest through Butler County, Kansas along I-34. Wild Sonora dotted the roadways, along with twitch flower, bluebells, and vetch, echoing the pure blue sky. The colors of that day soaked into my pores and I let go of all I had lost over the past months.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Nowhere and everywhere,” my brother Asa answered.

We drove along in scattered silence, interrupted by stories and reminiscing. We had much to catch up on . . . We’d met just two years earlier—same father, different mothers; he had been adopted out of the clan.

shutterstock_250935556I told him when I was seven, I ran away from home,