I buy sunflowers today fuzzy faces canary yellow petals stand them one by one sturdy stalks in an azure vase 7000 miles away tanks roll across Ukrainian borders trying to wipe them off the map grandmothers aunts fathers sons throw their bodies against bully armor hearts forged in resistance
“When the Russians come
for us, they will see our faces,
not our backs.”
Zelenskyy takes off his suit and puts on battle fatigues, stands in the streets, talks with his troops. And when his fellow patriots can’t see him, literally, he makes videos—calls to soldiers from every continent to join freedom’s fight. “We are all here, protecting our independence, our country, the free world. This night will be difficult, but dawn will come.” And it arrives, morning after morning, despite tracers slicing the pitch black, despite gutting of homes, hospitals, schools, & markets, despite bombarding of Kherson, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol, & Melitopol, despite screams & slaughter of civilians. Then Russia turns its fire on Zaporizhzhia—home to Europe’s largest nuclear plant, six reactors. Flaming shells like falling stars cut into darkness. A huge orange globe lights up the sky, exploding beside a car park. Smoke billows. Radiation knows no borders. “We will not lay down our weapons. Our weapons are our truth.”
Poems and photograph ©2022 Chella Courington
All rights reserved
…(she/her) is a writer and teacher whose poetry and fiction appear or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals including DMQ Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic. She was raised in the Appalachian south and now lives in California. Her recent microchaps of poetry are Good Trouble, Origami Poems Project, and Hell Hath, Maverick Duck Press.