Sonnet for Ukraine Refusing to End


mobile crematoriums and graves 
Rain omass on soil already made of bone 

history repeats unbroken record 
Rain ogreat-grandmother served Russian soldiers

in Kyiv’s kitchens after the war 
Rain oin America she’d scream 

about a Nazi’s hands I won’t let you take me 
Rain oshe said he’d brought his wife 

to watchRain ounnamed untraceable 
Rain oas how or where they shot or burned 

or buried my great-grandfather 
Rain ogenocide unnamed too until 6 million gone 

how many more can we bear now 
Rain ogen– “give birth” before we name it

cide “a killing” before we lose track 
Rain ocounting plagues and bodies

history repeats unbroken record 
Rain omy son asks why are they still hurting 

Ukraine? and I search for a word beyond 
Rain orepetition or prayer—may death 

pass over our house  

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach (www.juliakolchinskydasbach.com) emigrated from Dnipro, Ukraine, as a Jewish refugee in 1993, when she was six years old. She is the author of three poetry collections: The Many Names for Mother, winner the Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State University Press, 2019), finalist for the Jewish Book Award; Don’t Touch the Bones (Lost Horse Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Idaho Poetry Prize; and 40 WEEKS, forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2023. Her poems appear in POETRY, Blackbird, American Poetry Review, and The Nation, among others. She holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, Lyric Witness: Intergenerational (Re)collection of the Holocaust in Contemporary American Poetry, pays particular attention to the underrepresented atrocity in the former Soviet territories. She is the founder and host of Words Together, Worlds Apart, a virtual poetry reading series born out of pandemic but meant to outlast it. She is currently Murphy Visiting Fellow in Poetry at Hendrix College and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her two kids, cat, dog, and husband.