THEY’RE PLANTING TULIPS IN KHARKIV
By Andrew Hidas
The news tells us of mass
tulip plantings in Kharkiv,
just one more Ukrainian city
bringing new definition
to the word “beleaguered”
in this long spring of horrors.
I picture those tulips tightly clutched
in fists, shaken and ascending to
the heavens as an ultimate “Fuck you!”
to the bomb-droppers and missile senders
who become blinded by the color explosion
of tulip petals hurled aloft in anger, defiance
and hope—blessed, dubious, inexplicable hope.
In our front garden the other day,
the world’s most purposeful sparrow
hops across the gravel, sweeping
up dead leaves in her beak till they
obscure her entire head, a holy payload
destined to welcome life in a nearby tree.
I marvel at her madness of intention,
the sacred instinct for survival and comfort
guiding her every move like no missile
guidance system ever afforded man.
“Russia unlikely to increase Donbas
advance in next month,” another
news source tells us, and I wonder
if this is good news or bad for Ukrainians
not advanced upon but shelled from afar
anyway for the sheer offense of existing.
Next month will take us to mid-June,
the world flush with the leaves even
then beginning their long cycle to doom,
the end of which is, in the way of such things,
the best possible news for sparrows.
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Tulips by Slava Stupachenko, St. Petersburg, Russia https://unsplash.com/@mrstupachenko