Miner’s lettuce, chickweed, little fronds of arugula wintered over in the greenhouse. I am watching the lines of women and children walk to Poland. The lines of statistics listing the dead. Once my grandfather was one of those leaving. In the village where he was born, they are waiting to see. Come to us if you need to, I write. You will be welcome here. And from that distance, a note comes back to say Thank you.
Where the rows of garlic are growing, where a few sprouts of kale have volunteered in the rich soil, daffodils are blooming as though winter never happened. As though it’s over.
Wear your poppies on your sleeve for remembrance. Wear them for the women in the lines, the ones who have died in their homes, hospitals while they waited to give birth, young soldiers, old ones, dead in the streets. Read the poems that tell of the loss and the hope.
we will walk back, even with bare feet
if we don’t find our home in the place where we left it
we will build another one in an apricot tree
out of luscious clouds, out of azure ether
–from Lyuba Yakimchuk‘s book, Apricots of Donbas, translated by Max Rosochinsky, Svetlana Lavochkina, and Oksana Maksymchuk