“Abel’s Last Words to Cain” by Agnieszka Tworek

Agnieszka Tworek


A sparrow from my orchard
flew by your house
as you gunned me down

Brother, why do you sow
my frozen fields
with copper and lead?
What can sprout in spring
from these bullet seeds?
In this black soil I grow wheat
I could bake you such a crusty loaf of bread

Why do my fruit trees have combat wounds?
Why do my sheep and cows lay dead?
Why do women weave the sky’s threads
and use them as gauze bandages?

Brother, you could still bring me back
to life to love to light
if you don’t bomb the hospital
where my pregnant wife prays
that our newborn son’s first cry
won’t be his last

Why is the snow falling
into my mouth
and why is it red?
Brother, you could

from Poets Respond
March 13, 2022


Agnieszka Tworek: “Each day of this senseless war brings new atrocities. There are many innocent civilians dead—men, women, and children who cannot be properly buried. This week the world witnessed in horror the Russian soldiers bombing Ukrainian hospitals, including a maternity and children’s hospital. There are no words …”

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