Sara Parrott

Under a Ukrainian Roof


A man gathers men

to help him bundle

clusters of thatch,

layers of living

and dead stems,

to repair his roof,

protect the little bed

and diminutive chair

his father once carved

for him to climb in.


He levels his ladder

with a Christmas card

bearing cherubic faces,

children his daughter’s

age. Above her bed,

a wooden window box

painted with sunflowers

holds a blue pitcher

from which his wife pours

nothing but admiration.


Before the roof settles,

a blanket of cluster bombs

shrouds the house,

fireballing the little bed,

the blue pitcher,

so many flower heads.