Poem: Breakfast in the Safety of a War-Zone
The radio crackles into life beneath my clumsy early morning thumb,
bringing the latest from a basement under siege.
As the kettle boils a plume of smoke rises in the distance,
followed seconds later by the dull thud of the landing shell.
The loose dry leaves cascade like shrapnel into the pre-warmed pot.
The clatter of machine-guns punctuates my stirring of the brew.
I reach the fridge door just in time
as a jet swoops fast and furious,
retrieving the milk bottle while a kindly grandma explains
the best recipe for a successful cocktail – petrol, rags and cooking oil.
On the stove the surface of the porridge pan erupts
as exploding cluster bombs pock-mark the city streets.
Slavic voices fully convey in words I do not ken
the anguish of the hour
as I spoon sweet honey into my steaming bowl of oats.
I check my e-mails while a doctor checks a wounded fighter’s pulse.
A child screams as I pour myself a glass of juice.
Zelensky pops up with another impromptu speech,
while more exhausted exiles clog his nation’s roads.
I go to wash, to dress and clean my teeth. I say my prayers.
Another day dawns on the frontline of our hearts.
Text may be reproduced with the following acknowledgement:
© Rob Esdaile, 2022. Reproduced from A Word In Edgeways – A Few More Verses, published by Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0LP. Copies available for £7 inc. p&p. e: firstname.lastname@example.org; t: 020 8398 6127. All proceeds go to Cafod/DEC Ukraine Appeal.