Russia invaded Ukraine February 24, 2022 in the early morning just as the early star magnolias began to bloom, their scent wafting.
Cities were bombed, homes destroyed and people fled
While the cherry blossom trees by the river opened up in the cold and wet.
A naked woman was raped over and over, then shot in the head in a fur coat
In this bumper crop year for the fragrant lilacs.
Any citizen with tattoos from the military was tortured and killed
While the tulips, jonquils and graceful bleeding hearts appeared.
Zelensky stayed and the Ukrainians fought back, killing 12 Russian generals
Even as the azaleas gloried in their most cheerful regalia.
The Russian offensive got pushed east, after reducing towns to cinder,
Ukrainian soldiers left in Mariupol forced to surrender ,
As the peonies opened, their petals lovely and tender.
Then we found out the Supreme Court intends to reverse Roe versus Wade
But in Ohio, it’s time to plant tomato plants, basil and parsley in the ground.
Then the discovery that any rapist can contest custody of the baby
That traumatized survivor, that unfortunate handmaid, no matter a child, is forced to bear,
All while the lily of the valley bloom with beauty and fragrance.
There are suspicions this is just the start, that those who only began to know relief
Will get sent back to some old twisted beliefs
Even as the roses bloom, the thorns slice and the blood flows.
But like Ukraine, these wars are not over, and we too fight to determine our own role
As the iris, those elegant flags, outdo themselves this year with all their soul.