As Ukraine Suffers, We Can't Look Away
By Naomi Serviss / New York City
Apocalyptic evil incarnate
unleashed on innocent civilians.
Cluster bombs, drone strikes, nuclear threats.
Ukraine’s dogged determination
Putin’s vile slaughter and
debunk his hideous lies
is of myth-making proportion.
We’re tuned into
heartbreaking real-time horror.
Bearing witness to the unthinkable.
upload raw footage
with ferocious, armed determination.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky,
a worldwide hero
of Shakespearian dimension,
epitomizes passionate righteousness
in the face of tyranny.
Putin is a repulsive war criminal
whose sociopathic megalomania
recalls his biggest American fan,
the former disgraced American president.
NATO allies know what’s at stake,
as do all freedom-loving nations and citizenry.
Echoes of 1939 and 1989
haunt the airwaves,
relentless news of totalitarian brutality.
Shocking footage of bloodied children
pierce our collective conscience.
Cancer patients are being treated
in the Kyiv Hospital basement.
Some 1.3 million refugees
have sought sanctuary
in Poland, Hungary, Moldavia and Romania.
Half a million are children.
Will global demonstrations
and economic sanctions
affect a desperate despot?
A forbidden pro-Ukrainian rally
in Tbilisi, Georgia
Americans are wearing
Ukrainian colors in solidarity.
New York City landmarks
light up at night
with the embattled nation’s hues.
How do we comprehend
the unfolding atrocities?
Who isn’t gutted by Putin’s inhumanity to man?
This “teachable moment”
isn’t easily taught or explained
when there are no words.
The Russian dictator’s
willingness to invoke nuclear weapons
a power plant is terrifying.
Experts say ‘contained’ reactors
the largest nuclear power plant in Europe,
like the April 26, 1986 disaster in Chernobyl
That’s the good news.
Here comes the bad:
Damage to its cooling system
may simulate 2011’s Fukushima accident.
The former Soviet republic
has 15 nuclear reactors,
This military conflict
is the first in European history
to play out on such dangerous ground.
Ukraine’s Chernobyl disaster,
shattered the world stage.
That memory is still vivid.
At the time, my daughter was a preschooler
in Long Island’s Northport Nursery School.
Emmy attended morning sessions.
Cooperative parents pitched in there,
from assisting teachers to bathroom cleanup.
Kids learned how to share and care
about their classmates
in a warm, encouraging environment
of cooperative learning.
I was carpooling with another
three-year-old’s mom in Emmy’s class
when we heard the horrific Chernobyl news.
Stunned, we took comfort
in our shared panic.
Our kids played together that afternoon,
We talked about nuclear fallout
and stressed out
over our children’s
inheritance of a world on life support.
Dazed, we worried realistically
about living on an island
where the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant
had been inexplicably constructed.
We imagined the chaos
that would follow an emergency evacuation
should the unthinkable happen.
If you’ve never driven
through Nassau and Suffolk counties,
picture bumper-to-bumper traffic
on a typical commuter’s day.
Miraculously, the plant never opened.
In 1994, it was fully decommissioned,
which made the nuclear reactor inoperative.
Most of the $6 billion cost of the unused plant
was passed on to Long Island residents.
Chernobyl’s meltdown was
the worst in history,
both in casualties and cost.
It wasn’t military action
that threatened the world
that cruel April month.
It was human error.
Putin’s annihilation playbook is intentional.
Staff at the Ukrainian power plant
warned that Russian troops
were laying down explosives.
Ukraine’s 44-year-old President Zelensky,
who is Jewish,
“I don’t want Ukraine’s history
to be a legend about 300 Spartans, he said.
I want peace,”
The Russian people are not our enemies,
he added, just the demented president.
Putin’s self-proclaimed ceasefire
is another lie,
as evidenced by
launched air and military attacks.
How can we support
President Zelensky’s Herculean leadership
during these horrifically unprecedented times?
Maybe by continuing public demonstrations,
making donations to vetted charities
and supporting independent,
who are putting themselves
on the front lines of history.
Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including BroadwayWorld.com