Poznań - My Husband's Home

I first visited Poznań in the fall of 2014 when Sergiusz took me to meet his family. It was a big deal for him to bring a girl home. I still joke that for a guy who had been a loner for most of his life, his family must have been startled when the first girlfriend he introduced to them not only would become his wife, but was also Jewish, American, and a vegetarian. 

Over the next year while I was based in Europe, we spent many weeks together in his parents apartment, even living there for a short while. Sergiusz often described the city that is located in west-central Poland as “Berlin’s little brother.” I quickly grew fond of the place and even more fond of his family. They welcomed me into their world with open arms. 

Sergiusz suddenly died in the fall of 2016 and Poznań with its quintessential old town and cobblestone streets became a version of home that I am still navigating. I can’t decide if I feel like a tourist or someone who belongs. I don’t know if I am at home in a strange land or a stranger at home. And I don’t know if that will ever change nor if I want it to. His family has become my family. His childhood bedroom preserved for when I visit. His father and mother eagerly awaiting my arrival.

This photo series is a quiet love poem for Poznań, for its people and its places. As I continue photographing daily moments, Sergiusz will become less and less present, at least in the pictures. But, our nieces and nephews will continue to grow into teenagers and young adults. The Warta River will remain popular on a warm day and our favorite pub will continue serving local craft beer. The language will most likely remain a mystery to me with its dozens of tenses and diminutives. And, the market square with its fighting goats will continue lighting up during the festive Christmas season. 

This is Poznań, the city that my husband called home.