“My home is burning, my homeland
is bleeding, and therefore I am.” -Bohdan Andrukh
It happened one night, perhaps more,
that a sleeping Canada Goose
in Lassen’s Honey Lake
hadn’t felt the trap ice
creep in around its body
holding it prisoner, unable
to flap free. So, when the coyote,
tongue hanging like a torn rag,
gingerly crept up, circled around
the bird, the goose awakened,
frantically powered up to free herself,
ice becoming blood’s crazed map.
So it is that Putin entraps
thousands, borders sealed;
citizens hiding in subway tunnels
the fortunate, as yet, unharmed.
A double-headed eagle
depicts empire, while Ukraine’s
national bird, the nightingale
sweetly sings. We, in other countries,
are left with a sorrow so large it doesn’t fit
in the geography of comprehension.
Listen, listen, the nightingale sings,
my homeland is burning, my heart scorched.
Dianna Henning taught through California Poets in the Schools, received several California Arts Council grants and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program, including Folsom Prison. Publications, in part: MacQueen’s Quinterly; Artemis Journal, 2021 & 2022; The Adirondack Review; Memoir Magazine; The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester; Pacific Poetry and New American Writing. 2021 Nomination by The Adirondack Review for a Pushcart Prize. MFA in Writing ’89 from Vermont College, Montpelier, VT. Fourth poetry book “Camaraderie of the Marvelous” published by Kelsay Books Sept. 2021. Six-time Pushcart Nominee.