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"For Ukraine" by Kevin Powell

You can taste the starved love

Rubbing the sleepy genocide eyes

Of tiny children

With history pinned inside

Their orphaned clothes

They scan the puffy gray skies

For beet soup and boiled dumplings

As if they and their families know

To never stop

Flashing the blue and yellow

Flag as they foot-race soccer balls

Into bombed-out schools

Tomorrow these un-sheltered people speak once more:

We fight

For freedom and for peace

We fight

Against rape and slavery and holocaust


May be unguided weapons

Lighting our grandmothers’ dresses on fire


May be guns and tanks

Spraying the oppressor’s blood at our muddy ankles

But as long as we have breath

From noses made clear by sunflowers

As long as we can walk

Or crawl

Like baptized nightingales swinging bandaged arms

And as long as fear is a prison train

We must liberate

With the muscular African shadow of Mandela

We will survive

We will win

We will survive

We will win

A note from RF: Kevin Powell is a prolific poet with 16 books out to date. You can find out more about him on his website and give him a follow on Twitter @kevin_powell


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