Day 8 Only the Dead are Unfraid

Today, I chose to write about something that struck me, rather than the prompt from NaPoWriMo. Something said on a newscast:

Only the Dead are Unafraid

a man says on the screen. He’s speaking

amidst the ruins of his home, his city

somewhere in Ukraine.

I didn’t catch his name. Still, I see

the destruction around him. There must be

dead in a place so destroyed.

In another story, a new cemetery. No grave

without a recent marker. February, March, April.

All of them 2022. Numbers of the dead grow

and still, we know they are underestimating

how many graves they will need when the war ends.

This is a scenery I don’t understand.

A mentality that lacks humanity. How

does one human obliterate so many fellow humans,

and all in the name of returning Ukraine to Russia.

Only the dead are unfraid. Only the dead

and Vladimir Putin. The Gatherer of Russian Lands.

Even as he destroys his Ukrainian brothers and sisters.

Soon, there will be nothing of Ukraine to gather.

Only wasteland, and all those who are still


Carol A. Stephen

April 15, 2022

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