A normal day, 3 April

I have so much to upload, or is that too much?

The day starts glimpsing the sea, now our trees
have grown and ends in the forest, spotlighting
for Greater Gliders, looking for life in the night

In between words wrestle artistry and forgetfulness,
recalling dust, debris, blood, chunks of children
frightened or laughing before the missile struck.

‘somebody thought the rocket
belonged to the room with children
and now it’s here

in time
someone else will come
and collect the pieces . . .

but for now
this rocket and these children
are an unsorted matter

a puzzle
awaiting a solution’

Oksana Maksymchuk,[i]


Wars are normal which sounds absurd
but some are ‘not a normal war’.[ii]


[i] From ‘Rocket in the Room’ in Still City: Diary of an Invasion, Carcanet, 2024. Oksana Maksymchuk is a Ukrainian poet.

[ii] Chris McGreal, ‘‘Not a normal war’: doctors say children have been targeted by Israeli snipers in Gaza’, Guardian, 3 April, 2024, Children account for more than one in three of the more than 32,000 people killed in Israel’s months-long assault on Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Tens of thousands more young people have suffered severe injuries, including amputations.

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