Winter Freeze

On Orchard Knob leafless trees stand sentinels with stone
Monuments that honor states whose battalions one by one
Preserved the Union on ground consecrated by blood.

This shaken season marks cold memories of Valley Forge
Where a tattered army stood in snow with Washington
To write a chapter for the Declaration of Independence

At the Delaware River crossing oared and pulled by prayer.
Now our liberty mirrored in the frozen candle flame burns
From Ukraine darkened and decimated by missile and drone.

There are no words left to define a tyrant. The rough beast
Of W.B. Yeats slouches toward Bethlehem to put in
The mind this Herod a plan to slaughter innocents with fire.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.