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Sunday, March 13, 2022


by Marc Swan

Photo by Nadia Povalinska "who recently fled her home in Ukraine. It is from before the war, just a few weeks and a lifetime ago." —Heather Cox Richardson, Letters From an American, March 11, 2022.

In the photo, her back is to us.
She holds a scarlet red umbrella,
perhaps a harbinger of spring
or an unknowing portent 
of things to come,
that shields her head, 
catches snow 
falling from nearby trees
in a quiet park 
away from busy streets.
Late winter leaves 
glow cinnamon 
on snow-covered branches.
There are tracks, 
but she walks alone
in a small city in Ukraine.
The way life was before 
bombs and rockets fell,
hospitals, churches, clinics fell,
museums, homes, restaurants fell, 
and people—
defending their way of life
now buried in mass graves.
just outside Kyiv.

Marc Swan, a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor, lives in coastal Maine. His fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK).