The puzzle of her life has been shaken.
Things don’t click so neatly.
Those Ukrainian women on TV
look too much like her. How they clutch their children.
How they ride trains rushing into the unknown.
How they huddle in disheveled subways.
How they must learn to love only the now.

Could ancient hate plunder her town, clog
her street with tanks’ carcasses, litter her
neighborhood with the rubble of hope?
With scorched and shell-pocked apartments?

Would those thugs in uniforms appear, swaggering
the parks, lurking near the schools, prowling city hall?
Would they cradle their weapons like offspring
of a foul new order, smirking at decency,
disdainful of flesh that is not theirs?

No, never. Yet at moments her daily muddle
could metastasize into heartbreak, leave
her searching for some faith, some order, some trust
she fears her cozy world could not supply.

She dare not touch the crystal gracing
the living room, given by her late mother.
Suddenly, everything seems so fragile.

Glenndale Defoe Jr.’s work has appeared widely in chapbooks, anthologies and textbooks in the US, Canada and abroad and in Poetry, Paris R., Yale R., Denver Q., Reed, Sewanee R., Salmagundi, Michigan Quarterly R. and many others.