Dust of Snow by Laura Foley

Dust of Snow

I thought I was done
mourning war
learning to savor

a faceful of snow
from the shaken pine
without remembering

the water dripped
on my father’s head
his torture into a coma

surviving four years
in Japanese prison
to become my father

in the same war Stefan
escaped on skis
from Poland

across the Tatras into Lithuania
and then Russia
and became my husband

now long since gone
this dawn after snow
as the new war invades my mind

and sun lights a thin white line
rising from the chimney
of a peaceable slate gray house

where I live with my wife
on a wooded hill
but see the smoke

of bombed buildings
barely noticing how snow
dusts from the arms of a pine

drifts like a beautiful ghost
or an angel I wish
I could send to Ukraine.

*

Laura Foley is the author of eight poetry collections. Everything We Need: Poems from El Camino was released, in winter 2022. Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, One Art Poetry, Poetry Society London, Crannog Magazine (Ireland), DMQ Review, Atlanta Review, Mason Street, JAMA, and many others. Her work has been included in many anthologies such as: Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. Laura lives with her wife, Clara Gimenez, among the hills of Vermont. www.laurafoley.net

Tenderness by Yuliya Musakovska

Tenderness

The sun kisses my face. I want so much to save
at least a sip of this height, so blue, for later.
The animal song of reddened leaves,
a swirl of wild grapevines, exploding from roofs.
We seem unperishable as if no one after us
will divide a yellow pear in half as in communion,
will forgive one another while hugging the whole world,
not allowing petals to fall from numb blossoms.
A movement of a green dragonfly’s wings,
a tremble of eyelashes,
a children’s toy, abandoned in the grass,
a flock of honey mushrooms that hatched around stumps.
This emergence is witness to a new day coming.
How long should we pull before realizing—the cord is strong?
Tenderness, a rope that keeps us from falling out of the boat.
You hold so many treasures in your hands, my love.
We have no time for disbelief, and no right to it.

Translated from Ukrainian by Olena Jennings and the author

Yuliya Musakovska is the award-winning author of five poetry collections in Ukrainian, The God of Freedom (2021), Men, Women and Children (2015), Hunting the Silence (2014), Masks (2011), and Exhaling, Inhaling (2010). Her poems have been translated into over twenty languages. Recent works appeared in AGNI, The Apofenie Magazine, Life and Legends, The Springhouse Journal, and Red Letters. She lives in Lviv, Ukraine.

Olena Jennings is the author of the poetry collection Songs from an Apartment (2017) and the chapbook Memory Project (2018.) Her novel Temporary Shelter was released in 2021 from Cervena Barva Press. Her translation from Ukrainian of Vasyl Makhno’s collection Paper Bridge is forthcoming from Plamen Press. She is the founder and curator of the Poets of Queens reading series.