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Sunday, May 22, 2022


by Peter Witt

On May 20, Dmytro Kozatskyi, a soldier of the #Azov Regiment posted his photos of the defenders of #Mariupol, calling on the world media and those who can help to distribute them. "Well, that's all. Thank you for the shelter; Azovstal is the place of my death and life. See you".

I hear the drums of war banging
as recruits shoulder their weapons,
while merchants of arms pray
half-heartedly for peace knowing
money is to be made
off the mayhem and suffering.

Somewhere safe and hidden,
a barely 19 year old guides
a drone capturing images
of hospitals, schools, that
will soon smolder with
the aftermath of airborne
mechanized chaos...silently
he offers a prayer for the living
and soon to be dead.

Mother with teething child,
walker propelled grandparent,
and shivering family dog
board a train that chugs
its way to the western border,
rails singing "pray with me,
pray with me."

Someday, when bodies
are counted, refugees
and soldiers hobble home,
there'll be an annual day
of remembrance of victory
and defeat, speeches made,
loved ones honored,
as the priest asks
the assembled to bow
their heads and pray.

Peter Witt lives in Texas.  His poetry has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.