Beware the Ides of March

Be you a young Russian soldier 
doing as you’re told or 
a young Ukrainian,
from home,
from peace, 
from family, 
beware the ides of March. 
They are come. 
No soothsayer need 
say us nay, 
it is not gone for 

the gloom of war rides each of us. 
We are connected  
as we never were before. 

No lies can hide 
the truth in photographs, 
anguished faces, blast-craters, 
a pregnant mother 
carried out motionless 
on a stretcher 
from her leveled maternity ward. 
Tears of children 
in my news feed — 
the gloom is here 
inside me. 
I wish I could stop there.

Crowded railway stations, 
mass graves, 
bombed buildings, 
hostages in hospitals
empty market shelves, 
freezing cold, 
people with empty hands
standing in the way of
I wish I could stop there.

55 Ukrainian children
made refugees 
every minute —
Make it stop. 

No, the gloom is
not past.
We will all be judged.

Copyright 2022 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: I feel like I’m in a dystopian movie, the news has turned so dire and brimming with more drama than any play by Shakespeare. The death of Caesar seems like small beans compared to the bombing of Ukraine, a much more expansive betrayal by a neighbor than any I imagined happening in 2022. I’ve been speechless with horror. Still the pandemic surges and falls. I worry for the Ukrainians, trying to survive and remain Ukrainians. I worry for the Russian people, with the economic backlash of world disapproval falling on them. I worry for people out in the cold, lacking medical care, power, clothing, water, shelter, safety, and food. I worry for the children.

Hope is the only friend we have in such times. Hope is a special kind of magic that only takes a spark. May you feel that spark. May the gloom go with the passing of the ides.

Meanwhile, I’m embarking on a new adventure. — exercising more, teaching my son to drive, changing jobs, and doom-scrolling again. 


19 thoughts on “Beware the Ides of March

  1. Pingback: Signs of the Times – “Distress of nations …” – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

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