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Marc Swan

Marc Swan, a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor, lives in coastal Maine. Poems recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Spindrift, among others. His fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK).

Day 33

My wife upstairs for craft night with a friend,
moon casting bright light into the den,
TV quiet after the nightly news—
Laura Trevelyan on BBC America
recap of the day with images
that viewers may find disturbing.
Unexploded cluster bombs in front
of homes where some still live,
many elderly and infirmed,
blindfolded hand-tied bodies
dumped in streets, charred remains
in burned out cars, mass graves,
corpses zipped into black plastic bags—
the grim reaper at work in a foreign land.
When rockets flare, buildings fall:
mothers, wives, babies, children
hunker down underground,
husbands, fathers, brothers
stand tall, AK-74s slung
loosely over shoulders,
family pets wander bewildered
searching for owners
in bombed out shelters.
In Trostyanets, a village
thirty-two klicks from the border
recently lost, now regained,
a 65-year-old woman speaks
beside the blown out home
on the land she has always known—
We will sow, we will grow, we will live.

Waiting outside JOANN Fabric and Crafts store

in Topsham Maine
on a Sunday afternoon
watching ordinary people
wearing ordinary clothes
walking at ordinary speed
chatting in an ordinary way
do ordinary things
makes me think of another place
yes      that one over there…
people trying to live day to day
not expecting much more
now having much less
the roof that needed repair
isn’t there
no need to replace the sink, stove, fridge
the kitchen is gone
no water for the toilet
shower or tub
living room isn’t for living
homes triggered with booby traps
to maim or kill
car payment won’t matter
cars and trucks and even bicycles
are blown up, burned out
or dead on wheels
corpses line
the thoroughfares
those alive with eyes wide
hands untied
hold carriers with pets inside
or in open arms
enfolding them
close to create comfort
quell disbelief
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