A little girl grips the one toy she was
allowed to carry away through crowds
stumbling together from their homes.
A stuffed animal—maybe a rabbit or cat.
Whatever name she gives it is infected
with the stench of displacement.
It’s a name that will nest inside her
like a flightless bird. If she makes it
from the streets of Donetsk to the border
with her parents, in years to come, it will
hatch on a day cleaning a closet, when
she pulls this animal from the back
and immediately smells smoke and hears
sirens in every direction. She will feel heat
off a burning car blackening the façade
of the local theater. Images will return
of a neighbor boy, the one with the chipped
tooth that made him whistle when he said
her name. Did he make it? Or his parents?
She will sit on the floor and hold, again,
the soft shape of what remains broken.