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poetry Leaving Schastia, c. 2/21/2022

Patrick Daly calls it “nothingness”--News from the war zone is never good news.

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Leaving Schastia, c. 2/21/2022

By Patrick Daly

Just yesterday her town was much like ours,

a place to go— maybe meet a friend

and sit and chat in a café or bar.

Just yesterday, like us, she had a home.

She has a suitcase and a carry-on,

a grocery bag, and nothing else. She wears

a padded coat like the ones here. She’s crying,

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one hand at her cheek to catch the tears.

And since this photograph the town has fallen

to rubble. A Russian flag stands in the ruins.

They say the military gain is small,

but death’s what Putin wants— nothingness the gain—

to blank out these small towns, leave them dead moons

where nothing ever moves or breathes again.

For the past decade Patrick Daly has been working for a software start-ups, writing poetry on his lunch hours.  His collection Grief and Horses was published by Broadstone Press in November 2021.