Note Seven to Vladimir Putin: Three Angels on Day Seventy of the Russia-Ukraine War

There are three Angels. Into their bronze
light, steps your mother bearing
a loaf of dark bread
and red cherry juice in a bowl
for the children whose homes you bombarded,
those whose burnt bones and toys you broke.

She glances this way beseeching
us, and we bow
our heads at her shamed breast
and at her heart-broken
realisation of what you have become
and for the way you bartered
with the Devil, surrendering your soul beyond
redemption. But
we, the mothers, we always bless
our prodigal offspring, bring them back
from the blighted
terrible human condition to our bosom,
to our love, begging
them to halt the besieging
and the blood.

The Angels watch your mother turn back
into the shadows, like a raven bleak,
and we, the women, call out to you on her behalf,
call from her torn spirit, baying
for you to disarm, to break
the thrall that will render all life to black basalt.



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