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Sunday, March 06, 2022


by Jan Chronister

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser in the Ukrainian President's Office said: "They [Russian troops] captured Hostomel and Bucha yesterday (Saturday).The Russians entered there. "They have injured many children and do not allow to evacuate them, despite numerous appeals at the highest state level to provide a "green corridor" from Bucha and Irpin. There are many children in the basements.” “There are basements where 70 children are sitting now and they are not being released. This is a catastrophe both from the humanitarian and, above all, from the moral point of view," Arestovych said, adding that the issue was being discussed "at the highest level with international humanitarian institutions." Several children have died, according to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. —CNN, March 6, 2022. Photo: Ukrainian soldiers trying to save a man—the only one of four at that moment who still had a pulse—moments after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv, on Sunday. Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times, March 6, 2022

When I smell smoke
I wonder if cities will burn,
if children will write letters from hospitals,
if peace is possible.
We lay wreaths on graves,
carve names of sons on granite walls,
give wings to platitudes and apologies.
We think we live where death will
not find us, but it can fly
on motes of dust, cover all
we know with ash,
reach over mountains, lakes,
touch the hidden places in the world.

Editor's Note: Sadako Sasaki (佐々木 禎子, Sasaki Sadako, January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who became a victim of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when she was two years old. Though severely irradiated, she survived for another ten years, becoming one of the most widely known hibakusha—a Japanese term meaning "bomb-affected person.' She is remembered through the story of the more than one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death.

Jan Chronister writes in Maple, Wisconsin where winters can be rough. Her work is widely published in print and online journals and anthologies. Jan is the author of five chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. She served six years as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.