Oh, for god’s sake, let’s not talk about the coming winter
or soldiers waiting outside, rifles readied—
wave them in for a gin.

A ‘40s hit song is what we need right now.
Think of the bars and cafes we loved,
friends who stood us a drink

surely some are still living, somewhere.
For every Putin, there must be thousands
of kind-faced nurses waiting in tents,  

bandages in hand, and a mother will kiss
every child’s bloodied knee. Listen to that wind
trying to find a way in here.

Anticipatory anxiety, it’s called.
Your fingers give mine a squeeze,
I’ll take that for reassurance, for calm just before.

Want more tonic in your cocktail?
Raise your hand, the rose-sellers
will approach, a smile at the ready.

Selected byRaymond Huffman
Image credit:Austrian National Library

Trish Saunders poetry and short fiction is forthcoming or out in The American Journal of Poetry, Medusa's Kitchen, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Off The Coast Literary Review and the Rye Whiskey Review. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, Last Note, in 2019. She lives in Seattle, formerly in Honolulu.