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turning away

by Justin Lee

it’s easy to turn away from a war

when your sink is full and your wallet’s barren

your children screaming at you for more,

when the soil across the water’s edge to earth’s core

brims blood, but see that the sunflowers still bloom

so you turn your focus to the daily chores

digging a trench of laundry - linen, wools -

covering the ground with elegies lasting seconds

of the father and son standing in a fog

so thick they can’t see the stars

your children speaking a stranger’s tongue at school,

houses becoming a shore no news can reach

are we that cruel -

or is it that easy to turn away from a war

when the land and its people

are not your own


Justin Lee is a senior at Nevada State High School. He is the editor-in-chief for his school's newspaper, and his work has been published or is forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Blue Marble Review, Eunoia Review, and others. When he isn't writing, Justin is either sketching or eating obscene amounts of peanut butter straight from the jar.

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