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Thursday, March 10, 2022


by Robert Knox 

You hide in the subway tunnels
of life’s unending nightmares
You walk, or ride, or hire cabs for thousand-dollar journeys
     to a border crossing
that is no longer open
You struggle down roads, carrying your baggage,
your children,
who belong not only to you,
but to your country,
      and to us all
You shelter in rubbled cities,
holes blown in once-solid blocks
of home and hearth,
sacred refuges that once housed human bodies and souls
by the hundreds,
people no more, nor less breakable than any of us,
left abandoned and vulnerable,
now that death has come to a land
     where sunflowers bloomed
You, who flee
and carry one another’s burdens
along pitted roads to the hope of a tomorrow
somewhere safer than today,
that haven
we have all promised ourselves.
That earthly haven
in which we may celebrate another spring,
another birthday of the earth
You carry our lives in your journey
as well as your own,
and those of your loved ones, your ancestors,
and the memory of ours as well,
There is room enough, I know, in your souls,
     to carry all these
as there is world enough for you
in ours
Come, walk in our shoes as well:
there is world enough for all. 

Robert Knox is a poet, novelist, Boston Globe correspondent, and the author of House Stories, a recently published collection of linked short stories. As a contributing editor for the online poetry journal Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. His essay on Putin's war on Ukraine is up on Medium.