Poetica Magazine

Poetica Magazine

Not Passed Over
by David Allard

We yearn, we plead
On Russian airwaves
For a place, a date, a name,
A telling of how and why they ended,
And would settle for just this one.

Although his name was never Eliyahu,
Just Elias,
Still, he was a shepherd
Guarding a flock at Babi Yar,
Thinking to be safe in its ravine.

But his ghostly presence
Has a ghastly mixed aroma:

Of a lamb burnt in a wheat field.
Whose sheaves will never ripen,

Of young lives, old lives,
Torn down and cast away -
A burnt offering to Baal resurrected.

Of burnt caramel,
The bastard child of nitroglycerine
Amongst the shattered suburbs

We yearn, we plead,
We recount the ancient story
And steal half-glimpses
At the open door
And wait in vain

Written after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

About the author

David Allard is a retired English teacher. He has written poetry and short stories and has just had a crime novel published under the pseudonym David Strauss. Previously published in Poetica, Audio Arcadia, the JLJ, DreamQuest, WriteTime, and MH.