Vox Populi

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Linda Nemec Foster: Sean Penn Leaves Ukraine for Safety in Poland

Eighty years ago, you couldn’t dream of this scenario…
A Hollywood actor walking miles past long lines of cars
to the Polish border for safety. The same Poland 
that was engulfed in Nazi flames and crematoria ash. 
Fast forward, like so many streaming videos,
to the now — where Sean Penn, of Dead Man Walking
fame, is walking toward a border town and getting 
the hell outta Dodge (read Kyiv). He was in Ukraine
filming a documentary about the Russian invasion. 
Until he wasn’t. 
But, let’s get back to the irony of his walking towards a Poland 
that Hitler couldn’t have imagined in 1942 with his
            long lines of women waiting for the showers at Birkenau,
            long lines of men waiting to be selected for work at Treblinka,
            long lines of children waiting for nonexistent bread in Warsaw.
In the now, Poland is on the other side of one history’s nightmare.
In the same now, its neighbor to the East—Ukraine of the blue and yellow,
of the sky and field, of the hands of the dead and their lost prayers—
is not. 
Once, I visited a cemetery there, on the border between Poland
and Ukraine. Stark and beautiful. Green and calm. No dead 
man walking there. Not even ghosts. Only the long lines 
of graves and rusting crucifixes nailed to trees.
But, back to Sean walking to the border that divides one history
from another. Passing so many cars, he’s lost count.

Copyright 2022 Linda Nemec Foster

Linda Nemec Foster is the author of twelve collections of poetry including The Blue Divide, The Lake Michigan Mermaid, Talking Diamonds, Amber Necklace from Gdansk, Listen to the Landscape, and Living in the Fire Nest. She is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College.

Sean Penn managed to escape Ukraine by abandoning his car and walking to the Polish border. (LADbible)

4 comments on “Linda Nemec Foster: Sean Penn Leaves Ukraine for Safety in Poland

  1. allisonfine
    June 15, 2022

    Never trusted his “advocacy.” It’s hypocrisy based on ego.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      June 18, 2022

      I think ego comes with being a celebrity. At least he’s trying to use his forum for something good.

      Liked by 1 person

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