Artwork © DL Polonsky


While War Is Raging In Ukraine, We Consider

cancelling our vacation to Spain. We have that option.
It’s Tuesday and the dogs deserve a nice long walk

to stretch their legs maybe at the beach before it’s closed
to them because some people ruin everything. Who

takes a selfie with a seal? Poor manatees is all I’m saying.
None of the boundaries left are worth keeping. There are

things I know I wish I didn’t, but the sharing was cathartic
and so I’ll take it on because cleaning up on take-out night

is not the same as being holed up in subway guts clutching
our cats and for that I’m thankful though still annoyed honestly

that vegan mayonnaise is so goddamned expensive.
What’s going to happen when we run out of avocados?

In a zombie situation I’d be screwed without my inhaler,
that’s just the way of it. I had never considered an actual war,

human against human. Ever wonder why YA is all apocalypse
and outer space? Youth is almost always wasted, but they know

the best ways to get some distance from what is staring them
in the face day after day. For Christ’s sake, there were promises

made in good faith, but goodbye to all that nonsense. Goodbye
to the fallacy of That could never happen to me. Some tongues

were tapped for logic and some for mongering though the faces
rarely match the hate. Next and next an onslaught of bomblets,

clusters of what used to be “civilized,” but no longer. Distance
is measured in football fields, as if everything will be back

to normal in a few days. I hate to say it: for all the hours
I have stared out to sea, I have only ever seen a whale beached.


Crystal Karlberg is a Library Assistant at her local public library and a speaker for Greater Boston PFLAG.

DL Polonsky is a Boston area artist, writer, and filmmaker. His caricatures have appeared in The Boston Herald and His written work includes the children’s book The Letter Bandits from T.B.W. Books.