In 2022, on Shrove Tuesday,
forty miles of Russian tanks drove into Kiev,
as a global climate report announced that more parts of the planet
would soon be hot, underwater, rife with mosquitos, or extinct.
The pandemic had been going for two years.
It was not a hopeful time.
But other things can stand in for hope, and take its shape:
kindness, courage, fury at apathy, or time;
we can wear all these when hope no longer fits.
And so the people entered Lent, confident not
in the final score of man’s devising,
but with a note written deeply in their souls,
humming, expanding, burning incessantly like a star.
Even as other fires threatened everything,
the holy fire burned in them,
and their hearts flew off to safety, like doves.