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Sunday, March 20, 2022


by Michael Brockley

“Girl with a candy,” photo by Oleksii Kyrychenko of his daughter to draw attention to the war in Ukraine. (Photo: Facebook/Oleksii Kyrychenko via Zyri, March 12, 2022)

You sit on the ledge of the wreckage that was once a window. A pose much like Audrey Hepburn’s while she sings “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Marilyn Monroe’s reading a book in a black-and-white glossy. Your back braced against the window frame so you can look over your right shoulder. A young sentry, perhaps, or an auburn-haired sniper. In your arms you cradle a pump-action rifle. And nurse a lollipop, like any nine-year old deciding between a stuffed dog and a doll in a market. Between bread for yourself or your sister. The glass has been bombed from the window that landmarks your vigil, but a mask that is fixed in an expression that is neither frown nor smile leers from the graffiti on the scarred wall behind you. The future holds your gaze along the horizon where courage is measured. Where invaders reduce schools and maternity hospitals to rubble. You are not an actress flirting with glamour in your fur-lined boots, new winter coat, and jeans. But the capri blue and traffic yellow of your nation flow through your ponytail like an anthem being sung around the world.

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana where he is looking for a dog to adopt. His poems have appeared in The Parliament Literary Journal, Young Ravens Literary Review, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in RockPaperPoem, Lion and Lilac, and Of Rust and Glass