Wednesday Poem

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 15,592 Ukraine civilian casualties between February 24, 2022 and October 09, 2022 . . . During the period, . . . A total of 9,371were injured, including . . . 1,441 women, 199 girls, and 277 boys, as well as 238 children . . .” and 5,256 adults whose sex is unknown —

An Act of Creation

……..—to Cesar Chaves

They keep rounding them up
through the centuries, killing
the innocent so easily—

the babies, the children,
the screaming mothers—
the men who do not beg

for mercy, Yes, yes, they
keep rounding up the victims,
again and again—their only

heirloom, possession: poverty.
When I was a young mother, I
didn’t fully realize this—
in my stupidity, I thought

the children were spared.

And when I thought of wolves
and lambs, I thought of
one or the other. A wolf.
A lamb. One bloodthirsty, eating
raw, red meat. One gentle, nibbling

grass. Now, twenty years later, they
still round up the innocent, or
corral them as in (South Africa),
slowly starving their flesh and
spirit to death. They enemy

kills the enemy’s children.

A stubborn man fasts for
the farm workers—their children
are not born whole, and ours
will not be born whole. That

is an act of creation.

Like painting a mural, a
watercolor, like composing
a symphony, like writing
a story, a poem.

That is when the lamb
and the wolf lie down,
together, and make extraordinary,
exquisite, ecstatic. Love.

Until the next roundup.

Or, until we learn better—
that without the lamb, the
wolf starves, and without the
wolf, the lamb grows fat
and stupid. Yes, I understand

why the stubborn man
does not eat, pretending
to be a lamb, inviting
the wolves to feast
upon his sweet, brown

flesh. His spirit.

by Alma Luz Villanueva
Paper Dance
Persea Books, 1995