“In Bed in America”

Poetry. 3 minutes to read.

There’s a tightness in my chest while I sit in bed; winter is abreast. 

Out the window, red trees stare. 

Their boughs watch me read headlines from a wooden chair we got secondhand, 

Just like the news: War In Ukraine’s Land.

I’ve never been, except if playing Risk, but when I see their faces, I want to lend a kiss. 

I’m lucky. There’s solace in a warm bed, and there’s peace in a frozen forest with a friend. 

For Americans, our spiritual war rages within, on battlegrounds with URLs. 

There are no rifles aimed at our kin.

We can watch social media soldiers smile on both sides and pick which contender we want to win. 

Some pick the house, run by the Kremlin. 

Others wager bad karma will crumple Russian tanks.

But these are luxuries, like worrying how artillery fire will affect our banks. 

The chill of death enters every bed. 

Yet we still get up and do yesterday’s job all over again. 

While missiles hit schools, ignorance plays with the rest of us fools. 

Today the jester feels like me, an American with the privilege to ponder how conflict makes him feel, but finds in rumination little value, especially against invasion. 

Don’t tell me these words matter more than an AK’s pitter-patter gore.

A world wide web of empathy can strengthen courage or deepen anxiety. 

My phone is a conduit to the frontlines of Kyiv where war can’t be silenced, 

And winter can’t be shut down. 

In bed in America, all I can do is breathe deeper tonight and love those dearest in my life. 

Hug longer. Kiss softer. 

Keep my heart burning brighter for those stuck in an unwanted fight, waiting for the Ghost of Kyiv to take flight. 

Let peace be thy night light.


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