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Thursday, March 24, 2022


by Chris Reed

Yesterday a Ukrainian woman
and her two children, lay in the rubble,
three esses, as booted rescuers
tried to save the father, still alive.
This morning a post bombardment
photo. In a sea of debris
a lone building stands without
exterior wall, rooms open
to the world like a dollhouse
with furniture intact, a china cabinet
unbroken, a pillow still on the sofa.

From a last cardboard box,
my mother’s bequest, I unfold old
newspaper to reveal a shepherd,
familiar figure of a once loved 
childhood creche, his staff broken.
I unwrap a king, crown intact,
and a Jesus, chipped, cradles
in my open palm, white plaster edge
of his missing side, ragged against
his painted flesh

In past winters he lay in a crib 
of cotton balls we took from 
the bandage drawer in the bathroom.
Returning the figures and crumpled paper
to the box, I wonder if it’s a sin
to throw it away on my way to ShopRite.
He won’t like being in that trash bin,
but then, no one does.

Chris Reed finds the reading and writing of poetry to be a moving medium for letting the absurdities, sorrows, anger and joys of life speak to each other. Her poems have appeared in The New Verse News, Little Heron Review, and US1 Worksheets.