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Tuesday, March 01, 2022


by Tricia Knoll

I can’t always keep track of the advice and 
questions that blur the fog of war. 
Even from this distance. 
Who said to be out of the cemetery before moonrise? 
Is it colder to sleep in the basement
            of a parking garage or a subway station? 
What do underground train stations have in common
            besides big clocks?
How did vodka come from the Russian word for little water?
What makes one leader heroic and another
            a steely-eyed fish? 
How many preachers are retelling the story
            of David and Goliath? 
How many cities in the world 
            have air raid sirens ready to go? 
For the dogs of war loosed from their homes, 
            who stockpiles the kibble?  
Who said to put your old rubles in bottom drawers
            for use later as bookmarks?  
Who uses more gasoline, the reporters
            driving from east to west or south to north
or neighbors making Molotov cocktails?
What becomes of a blown-out tank? After. 
And trenches? 
What would I pack in one suitcase? 
Has anyone ever counted how many cities
            end up as rubble?
Why have I thought for the first time in my life
            I could pick up a rifle? Armed gramma? 
When so much crumbles, how can it possibly
            be rebuilt?
When will the women and children come home? 
How did people come to love their land so much?
What will wee children remember 
            to tell their children? And grandchildren. 
Is this how hate spawns in history’s flow? 

Tricia Knoll sits in the woods in Vermont, avidly following the news out of Ukraine. She recently has had two chapbooks published: Checkered Mates in 2021 and Let's Hear It for the Horses in 2022.