It is not yet dawn,
but nerves are frayed,
eyes staring out across the river:
patches of ice, resisting the coming of spring.
Maryia welcomes a sunny day and a chance
to hang the clothes out to dry.
One nation is poised
to steal another’s destiny,
to steal a mother’s hope.
Maryia keeps one eye on little Anna
playing in the sandbox
and one eye on the dog in the neighbor’s yard.
Waiting for the command.
With the last article of clothing on the line,
Maryia can take a moment to enjoy the sunshine.
Not questioning the mission.
Maryia smiles at Anna’s sandcastle.
Radio cracks the morning wide open.
“That’s enough sand for today, Anna,
let’s go in and make some lunch.”
Anna looks sadly at her mother
and smashes her sandcastle.