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Tuesday, September 27, 2022


by Ana Doina

Tweet by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad 9/16/22

Dark clouds covered the sky 

for months before the year 

Troy fell prey to a wooden horse.


Scientists now tell 

nothing had been growing 

for years before chieftains  

took their tribes

in search of better pastures,

warring one another for the right 

to greener valleys.


Homer decries 

the face of a beautiful woman

for the first war,

but tree stumps 

tell of darkness, drought;

the bowels of the earth tell

of roaming hordes 

drifting, losing their roots.

The underworld 

brings back abandoned hearths, 

jars still full of honey, tools, 

cradles, toys,


buried where a fighter fell.


The scientists can’t yet tell

what covered the sun, what 

drove the peaceful herdsman 

to take up arms and leave 

the simple habits 

of his pasture, 

but back there, where ancient empires

used to thrive, five thousand years on 

and, still, a woman’s face, 

even when veiled, 

is blamed. Is doomed.

Ana Doina, Romanian-born American writer living in New Jersey, left Romania during the Ceausescu regime. Her poems appeared in numerous print and online magazines, anthologies, and textbooks. She won Honorable Mention in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards for Poems on the Jewish Experience contest in 2007, and three of her poems were nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2002, 2003, and 2004