Bio Note: I live in Southeastern Wisconsin with my husband, our two teenaged sons, a cat, and 8 guitars. Our house is always filled with music and creative energy. We share our marshland attached backyard with a watchful owl, a sandhill crane family, deer, rabbits, and howling coyotes in the distance. I am the editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review, and my latest poetry collection is The Sound of a Collective Pulse (Kelsay Books, 2021).
Songs of Survival
(Inspired by the painting Congress of Peoples for Peace by Frida Kahlo) Debris, like ticker tape confetti, still floats in the air, as the camera lens captures a young mother’s silhouette, protective hand holding her half-moon curve. I spot the side of her cheek and eyebrow dotted with streaks of blood, where shards of glass or wood must have swept past her, mercifully missing her vulnerable nest within. A Frida Kahlo painting appears on my screen, while breaking news continues to drone. Both moon and sun spheres glow on the canvas. The tree of life, bursting with oranges, grows before my eyes. A mother hen sits impossibly on top, as if keeping eggs warm on the highest branch. The little girl’s song in the shelter lingers from last night, stays with me, as I walk through the house. I hear her honeyed, hopeful voice even as I fall asleep. Her letting go of sound, word, voice, outcome is the bravest note I have ever heard. We sing ourselves into a new day, an insistent melody where sound itself holds the promise of survival, proof that beyond the bombs and tanks overhead, rooted in the cellar of Ukraine’s earth, is a chorus of people who believe.
Originally published in The New Verse News, March 2022
©2022 Cristina M. R. Norcross
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