Kristy Snedden

Pocket Dictionary of Grief

The girl and her mother,
heads tilted to the sky, listen
for alarms and shells while a crowd 

of women with deep set wrinkles push
the sleeping grandmother’s wheelchair. 
She is wrapped in a blanket.

There is a figure praying on top of the bridge
that used to be here, now it’s rubble outside of Kyiv, 
and a mile over, the prayer hall has burnt, 

no Mihrab pointing to Mecca and what’s left
of the minaret is outlined in smoke. A father stands
on a platform, his face reflected in the window 

of the train, while inside his seven-year-old daughter 
waves goodbye. Her eyes take up half of her face
and nearby there is an abandoned stroller 

lying on its side, two wheels whirling at the sky as if listening for
artillery echoes. The words of cease-fires  glow, highlighted by
embers on the side of the street.

If I could make out what they say, I would write it here.



Kristy Snedden has been a trauma psychotherapist for thirty-plus years. She began writing poetry in August 2020. Her work appears or is forthcoming in various journals and anthologies, most recently Door Is Jar, Snapdragon, Poetry Super Highway, and Power of the Pause. She is a student at Philip Schultz’s Writers Studio. Reading and writing poetry is how she stays lively and engaged with a turbulent world. In her free time, she can be found hiking in the Appalachian Mountains near her home or hanging out with her husband listening to their dogs tell tall tales.