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Sunday, March 27, 2022


by Sarah Mackey Kirby

Image: A woman sits while people cross a nearby destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling and bombing on March 5, 2022, 10 days after Russia launched a military in vasion on Ukraine. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) via Planet Custodian

live the lakes,
the tethered sun,
the warm bread
slathered thick
with morning slaughter.
The trees refuse to
keep their distance,
limbs outstretched to catch
drops of raining hurt.
Spray us first, they say.
We’ve been here before.
Our trunks are strong
and old
and know
the ways of bombs.
The ones of us who’ll go
will grow again. From mud.
From bullet-casing ground.
Seedling sprouts through
crimson ash at dawn.
We are tired, the trees say,
but we’ve been made for poets
to scrawl about
and cry about
as we stay firmly placed.
The people wear their shoes
with newfound purpose.
The wind blows. The rivers flow.
The moon glows. They all know.
They remember.

Sarah Mackey Kirby grew up in Kentucky. She is the author of the poetry collection The Taste of Your Music (Impspired, 2021). Her work appears in Impspired Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, The New Verse News, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She holds an MA in Teaching and a BA in Political Science from the University of Louisville.