Does the Soul Weep?

The carefully crafted face doesn’t show
even as we inch along a footpath etched in black,
the light reflecting off the white wall against our back.

The space a dark grey, in shadow play, over there a tank,
here the sound of thudding boots hard wired to pain,
the screech of the air-raid siren we strive to shut out.

It’s not me, it’s over there, in a dream I’d heard about,
or read or saw on my iPhone’s news app.
A father farewelling his family across the border,

He cannot leave his Ukraine, he’s of restricted age.
Another sheltering his brood, in a railway car heading back
to Kiev. It’s the wrong way, my closed throat howls.

This little family group is my Ukraine to save, he says.
Soul’s tears, the slow, seeping droplets drain.

My veined hands work my eyebrows, trying to lift the furrow
that forms and the eye bags that settle deeper each morn.
I try to smile, to put back my face for the day to come.

© Rosalie Fishman March 2022