Springtime in Ukraine

Springtime! —
A cascade of new blooms, pushing their way through the dark soil of winter; 
Bleak branches now ablaze with pink or white blossoms; 
Birds—excitedly sharing their anticipation of new life and hope in one melodious chorus of praise. 
Have we gotten the message yet? 
Winter has been winter defeated for one year more at least!

But, is this how my friends feel in that distant land— 
Searching for mementos in the rubble of past dreams;
Hastily stuffing photos of loved ones past and present into bulging bags as they
Hurriedly begin their harrowing escape to freedom? 
Or does the roar of gunfire drown out the birdsong?
Does the smoke of war dim the hues of springtime flowers? 
And fear!
Is it able to choke the promise of new life?

And back in the cities!
Are the tree lined avenues once more ablaze with white and pink blossoms?
Or are there any trees left at all?
Maybe just a few here or there—
Lone stragglers, 
Struggling for survival midst the smoke and fire of guns? 

And the people!
Oh yes, the people!
People like you and I
Who cannot or will not
Escape to friendly frontiers of fields and flowers!
Are they even aware 
Entombed in their basement shelters, 
That winter is over and the singing of the birds has come? 

These questions nag me,
Plague me,
Disturb me!
I do not know the answers,
For America is not and never will be Ukraine!

What can I do, then?
I cannot send the suffering ones gifts of Spring-hope wrapped up in pretty paper.
I have no power to dispel their winter of despair and death.
And so I simply pray, 
For no enemy can block a prayer by guns:
“Oh, God of all seasons and all lands,
Let the Springtime of hope’s resurrection  bloom once more in every anguished heart. 
Let each one feel, somehow:
That the Enemy cannot obliterate the seasons!
That the winter of hatred cannot forever swallow the hope of Spring!
That the God of resurrection and Eternal life has not been forced to flee to some other universe for safety.
Let this message reverberate:
Through every message winged their way,
Through every dollar sacrificed to relieve their suffering.
Through every stuttering, stammering prayer, uttered from anguished and love-torn hearts.” 

No, hatred!
No, fear!
No, death!
Try as you will, 
You cannot kill Spring-time, 2022!
The God of resurrection and Eternal Life has not been maimed by artillery fire.
He is not curtailed by sanctions,
Or roadblocks,
Or hostile frontiers.

Then take heart, 
Beloved, suffering ones! 
It’s Spring again—in Ukraine!
		—Trudy Harvey Tait.

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