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Jill Michelle

Jill Michelle’s latest poems appear/are forthcoming in Atlas and Alice, BoomerLitMag, Drunk Monkeys, SWWIM Every Day and Valley Voices. She teaches at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Find more of her work at

Golden Shovel for Ukraine: 24 February 2022

This morning men deliver wounds and death.
They will deliver death and wounds tomorrow.
–Gwendolyn Brooks

Weeks of Russian denial have come to this:
troops and tanks at five in the morning
even after the flutterings of neck-tied men,
barrel-chested birds perched, ready to deliver
their missiles, plant their gardens of wounds
where buildings once stood, rain shells and
bullets over land, exchanging borders for death.
137 humans gone, and the flummoxed birds, they
twitter on about possible sanctions that will
freeze a few men’s assets, cancel pipelines, deliver
economic hits. How to calculate what one death
is worth in dollars or rubles, francs or yen? And
what will these seeds of financial wounds
do to stem the flow of blood tomorrow?
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