For Ukraine

How do you pray
hard enough
to stop a war

waged with wombs
premature caesareans blasted
open by ballistic missiles

fired by soldiers fathers sons once
begotten in other bloody wombs

but today how bombs rain
on infants cradled
in their snug sacs waiting

in a place a watching world
believed to be sanctuary
desecrated now its gaping
windows calling out

how little ones that lived
to open newborn eyes
imprinted first vision
on orange flame black smoke

tiny whorled shells of ears
recording their mothers’ retching
coughing screams
wails forever etched
onto tiny pulsing brains

fear rising rising above
the whistling trajectories
of falling bombs
trembling earth
dusting sifting from the floors
above

to scribe on the sky again
those ancient words:
Weep not for yourselves
but for your children

and that other Man
how did he know it would come
to this

as (almost) the whole world
watches crying
and the tanks roll on.

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