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Villanelle for Ukraine

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

A bear has mauled the dove – we say our prayers

as clanking tank tracks crush the city streets.

We give but feel no pain, the war is theirs.


We hear concussion of explosions,

see the hollow stare from skulled apartments.

A bear has mauled the dove – we say our prayers.


We watch families flee with muffled faces,

backpacks stuffed and hugging their stuffed bears.

We give but feel no pain, the war is theirs.


At the border, men of fighting years

turn back to learn arms, bag sand, dig trenches.

A bear has mauled the dove – we say our prayers.


A white-bearded Ukrainian pities

the doomed young Russian conscripts.

We give but feel no pain, the war is theirs.


News bites grip, we scour our screens,

pay more at the pump, but sleep in peace.

A bear has mauled the dove – we say our prayers.

We give but feel no pain, the war is theirs.

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