Molotov Cocktail

Who were you before this moment? Before the Russians rewrote your whole person?

Before this moment you were someone else.

Someone other than the ruddy faces woman mixing Molotov cocktails to defend your country.

Yesterday you might have mixed vodka tonics for your book club or poured out horilka to toast a friend’s birthday.

Your president in his yesterdays was an actor, one who brought laughter to people.

Today he brings messages of courage, having transformed into the brave and strong leader the moment demands.

Yesterday maybe you made children laugh in a classroom as you read them a silly story about a bear and a big red ball.

Or perhaps you watched a patient smile through streaming tears when you told her the cancer was gone.

Maybe yesterday you stocked shelves at the local market, then sat at your mother’s table, relishing the meal she has prepared a thousand times because she knows it is her baby girl’s favorite.

Yesterday you could have been a myriad of myriad of people.

Today you can only be one, a face beamed out to the rest of the world:

“The Ukraine women making Molotov cocktails.”

Today someone else has trapped you, forcing forward your courage and bravery, an identity yesterday you never imagined for your tomorrow.

Today, woman with Molotovs and straight blond hair,

Today I stare at your visage, burned in my mind,

And I hope for your tomorrow.

I don’t want to force myself to the question of “if” for you.

In my comfortable, safe space of untouched identity, I want so much to hope for “when.”

I pray for your tomorrow, that again you can be a myriad of myriad;

That tomorrow this yesterday is just that – a moment that forever changed you but did not defeat you;

A moment that trapped you only for a little while but did not define every one of your tomorrows.

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