Deborah Kelly

Photograph by Michael Howarth (2022)

Nobody claps
in time
to a song
about ruin.

Some hum along
from first hand rubble.

In a Greek ruin, a sleeping bat,
where no one,
certainly not a tourist,
speaks of
Bucha or Aleppo.

in the press of the sun,
A 90 year old
fist up
argues empathy
for his youth
as a Nazi.

He squeaks lines from
Die Fledermaus:
the chorus of brotherly love,
an aria of laughter.

While his wife stands
stock still –
Ach, ich darf nicht hin zu dir.

While his daughter turns Northeast,
toward the camps
and refugees
on Lesbos.

(Ach, ich darf nicht hin zu dir: Oh, I cannot go to you.)

Deborah Kelly

Raised in Minneapolis, a fourth generation on Positively 4th St., Deborah lived many years in Chicago, and is home in Colorado. Her poems are found, four with award recognition, in several journals based in the US and Europe. She has led and written widely on behalf of non-profit organizations at work in the US and Mexico. Deborah serves on the volunteer board of Tupelo Press. Website:

Back to Issue
Also in this thread
This thread has no other posts