Saturday, March 12, 2022

Late Winter (Poem)

Late Winter

Palm trees in El Paso
are haloed in snow
rarer in mid-March
than the Russian tanks
bombarding a Mariupol shoe
factory, the psychiatric
hospital, a maternity ward,
apartments emptying to
missiles. A hotel sauna, 
a subway — deepest space
underground — targeted 
humanitarian corridors
hemmed with smoking autos,
plastic bags and rolling
luggage left behind.
Unknowing, toddlers
learn a new version
of the old game of hide-
and-seek among little Putin's
soldiers. The trains run
east with food and water.
The trains run west with
mothers, wives, the too-
old, the under-eighteen.
What would help most is
another poem from Ilya,
read aloud in the square
in Odessa; not sandbags,
not Molotovs, but arms
to run into, fingers brushing

the blush from soft cheeks
on this late winter morning.
Rev. 3-14-22

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