Robin is a mother, daughter, friend, writer, and photographer. She has spent her career working as a journalist or non-profit manager while writing essays and poems on the side. Her work has appeared in This I Believe radio program and in Trailway News magazine She lives in N.E. Georgia with two hoodlum cats and one patient dog.
The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Robin Dake and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
What do you pack in your one suitcase
When the bear is at the door
And your future sits in fog?
Do you pack your favorite sweatpants
Alongside your hopes and dreams for your children?
Do you slide some treasured photos
In between your fears and muffled anger?
Do you take a jacket and extra socks
To complement the unknown days ahead?
Do you pocket your cash wondering how much courage costs?
I look around my quiet room and try to imagine
The choices of a mother with the same brown eyes as me,
As she shuts the door behind her
And walks out among the screaming bombs
Carrying a life in one suitcase.
Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich teaches creative writing at Westchester Community College, author of 6 poetry manuscripts including “Breaking Out of the Cocoon,” “Peripeteia,” “How You Get to There” and “Dear Blue Harp Strumming Sky” Her poems and fiction appear in Phantom Drift Literary, Support Ukraine Anthology, Kairos Literary, Artemis and elsewhere. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College & was a 2016 fellow at Marthas Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Visit her on the web here.
The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Last Thoughts While Waiting in the Bread Line During Putin’s War
for Jimmy Hill & the people gunned down by Russian Military snipers
A crust of bread light like a feather,
Floating in silence. I stand in silence
Waiting to bring cold, pasty dough to my lips.
I image fumbling it between my fingers
Like a football. My face evicts this darkness—
The city of Chernihiv is infested with squatters
& sounds of glass shattering underneath blown-out windows.
Highway M18 is blocked off
By Russian soldiers driving our souls
Underground into dim light of small crowded rooms.
The sky is covered by an eerie silence—
Unspeakable hush after an air raid.
Breaths warm in the daylight’s shadow genuflecting,
Under the nebula sun, & the film I keep playing
Saying I love you Ira, & the memory—
Of sex of a man & sex of a woman
& a baby sucking the breast of its’ mother
Broke through gunfire smoke in the wind—
A galactic light wave pulsating relief into the mind.
Fractured pain grasped like a blood clot silencing flesh—
An oppressor’s language tracing the imagination of time.
I need it to speak outside of my adopted country—
Mutter words of empathy & kindness,
Enter the stage of retribution—
The way a spider weaves its’ web to catch flies to feed the world.