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Blackberries in Ukraine

July 15, 2017

 The news tonight showed fighting in Ukraine.

My eye was drawn, not to the scenes of war,

but swollen brambles glistening in the sun,

in the hawthorn hedge behind the soldier’s arm.

 

The camera didn’t catch him quietly claim

his harvest, but I somehow saw

his hand release the rifle, reach, and one

by one dislodge the berries to his palm.

 

Though I can’t wage his war, nor feel the pain

his comrades, enemies and he endure,

I taste the same sharp juice which dyes his thumb

and fingertips, and stains his uniform.

 

Were he to visit here, would what is strange

or – as for me – familiar strike a chord?

In foreign fabric, does he see homespun:

his world and mine lit by a single star?

 

Abroad, we introduce ourselves again

to what we know; to where we’ve been before –

and hear the chorus crows and doves have sung

at dawn since days began: discord and calm.

 

Gold Dust magazine, Issue 31, June 2017

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One Comment leave one →
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