“Soldier in the Ukraine” © DL Polonsky


My Russian Soul

Some might say I have a Russian soul. That means my soul is tortured, full of anguish; it loves and hates fiercely, takes nothing for granted.

Dostoyevsky said, “The Russian soul is a dark place.”

When I lost my mind the first time, Russia drove me to that point. Every time after that, Russia lingered, haunting, the taste of the slate sky endangering my mouth.

As I watch the news of the war in Ukraine, my Russian soul shakes. How could we do this? But it’s happening, filling our eyes with nails.

I imagined people in Russia heard about what happened to me. Over a bottle of vodka, they chortle, “Only Russia could drive someone insane.”

Not Egypt, nor Italy, not even China has that capability.

I await the results of this war with no winner, everyone will lose, souls emptied like salt shakers, bombs iShannon O’Connorn our stomachs which kill from intestines, as we bleed humanity’s wreckage from our assholes.


Shannon O’Connor holds an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. She has been published previously in Oddball Magazine and others. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Writers Union, Boston Chapter, and the President of Toastmasters General at Massachusetts General Hospital. She can be found on her blog.

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.