Tatiana Retivov


Love In Times of War
The air glimmers with pollen,
smog and haze. A meltdown
of the senses. I think of tanks
scurrying like mice across
the border. Armed fiends in green
bring new meaning to being
a soldier of (mis)fortune. All
feelings of love are limited
to survival, and then some.
Dense foliage fills my garden
with succor. It lifts me, until
airplanes roar past, hopefully
civilian. I alone remember
through Elvira Madigan optics,
the Andante from Mozart’s
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C
major resounding forever.
Strawberries and cream.
This is not post-traumatic stress disorder,
because it is ongoing, almost compulsive.
Peace sounds like a gentle summer breeze
at dawn, by the Azov sea. War
explodes with rage, disrupting all
you have ever known. You find
yourself counting the kilos of grain
in your cupboards, dog & cat food, salt,
matches, coffee & tea. We will survive.

Tatiana Retivov received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan. She has lived in Kyiv, Ukraine since 1994, where she runs an Art & Literature Salon and a small publishing press,www.kayalapublishing.com that publishes prose, poetry, and non-fiction in Ukraine.

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