Ode to the Life of an Old Woman

Katarzyna Suchodolska (1st place. Poetry. Spring 2011 Writing Contest)

A little girl with lilac eyes dreams
about her first day of school
and the heather grows wild on the hill.

A shy teenager cries silently underneath the sink
while the bombs destroy dreams, lives, hills.
Purple smoke billows out from burning buildings.

A young woman dreams about heather
while her little girl dies quietly in a hospital bed
among other children
for whom the doctors did not fight enough
because they had to sign the waiting lists for a new refrigerator,
and really, no one blamed them too much.

Pain, persecution, and love are words you should not use
in poems about war, occupation, and the birth of a child
because they cannot explain either that pain or that love.

She stays strong
as bombs ruin her house as medicine cannot save her child as her dear friends die,
one after another.
The only time she cries is when the nail polish stings her eyes
as she paints her nails bright red every Sunday.

Jason Hogan

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