written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard
“Children are not Nazis!”
My sign promotes compassion, kindness,
unity. With hearts dressed in colors for Ukraine.
The protest on a busy corner daily at 5:00pm.
Viktoriia’s baby naps in a carrier
against a warm bosom
as Putin bombs schools
and soldiers massacre mothers
Honking cars respond with loud wails. People pull over
to get free signs.
Save Lives in Ukraine!
Viktoriia calls her family there daily.
Another Ukrainian friend
hasn’t heard from her relatives
for weeks now. “We’re hoping
it’s just that
the internet is down.”
But in Mariupol –
Another friend’s elderly father
who has Parkinson’s
is nearly abandoned
as helpers have fled.
She’s on the phone daily
pleading for others
to aid this man in his nineties. Get him his meds.
Across the street from our crowd in blue and yellow
stands a bearded man as old as war,
holding his hunched-over sign, “Save Palestine.”
I can see through him
to his dissolving joints. We wave.
He teeters off, still seeking recovery.
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