ISSN 1551-8086
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  August 2010
volume 8 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Renae Andruse
  John-Patrick Ayson
  Lek Borja
  Sumiko Braun
  Terry Clark
  Christopher Coleman
  Kumari de Silva
  Chris Derrico
  Summer Griffiths
  KJ Hays
  Georgia Jones-Davis
  Eric Lawson
  Marie Lecrivain
  Noah Lederman
  Christopher Mulrooney
  Jason Neese
  David E. Patton
  Angel Uriel Perales
  Luivette Resto
  Sonya Sabanac
  Annette Sugden
  Tim Tipton
  Jessica Wilson
  Abigail Wyatt
  mailing list
Sonya Sabanac
August 2010



art by the feral artist

    "My name is Sonya Sabanac. I was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Yugoslavia. I left my town in 1992 due to the civil war and spent two years living in Denmark as a refugee. I came to the USA in 1994. Growing up with poetry never did I imagine that one day poetry would disappear from my life. I lost so much and poetry was another one of those lost things. Finding my way back to poetry was also finding a way back to my own self. I love and thank God for being awake and for all the wonders in our life; I love my daughter Nela and am so proud of her for being such a wonderful human being. I am looking forward to the many new adventures the art of photography will provide my husband and me."



No Man's Land

The younger people did not notice any signs.

The old were saying all along there would be war,
the signs were everywhere:
a wagon of money could buy so little,
the lice appeared out of nowhere and spread like wildfire,
the women were giving birth to sons
to make up for the men that would vanish;
the fruit-trees so fertile, their branches touching
the ground under the weight of fruit
as if someone whispered to their roots this was last
to bear life before death with devastation comes.


Their beds were still warm
when one man, a child and a woman
left their home. They locked the door
- an ordinary thing to do,
as if casually leaving,
as if there were no war and
they would soon be back home.

Running to save their lives, they did not know
they were running from their lives.

Shall we tell them this was a moment of irreversible
change? Stop them while they are still standing
in front of the door and scream: Wait,
wait and think again whether you really want to go!

The distance of time would muffle our voices.

The girl carries her school back-pack
with a big clock on it. Many times they all laughed
watching the cat stalk the second hand,
measure the distance and then jump
to catch her prey. It was only a game.

In April of 1992, in Sarajevo - nothing was a game.
Death was screaming from above,
the birds frightened not knowing where to go.

In the empty space between two forced borders
within the same city,
like a glacier, heavy and cold,
a silence lay
deep in it, with the eyes of vultures,
the snipers prey.

Too late to turn back.
The three stepped into danger,
featherless birds out in the open.

Be casual, do not run, show no fear.
Walk straight, the other side is only 30 meters away.

Were the snipers measuring their steps,
deciding at what particular place they would stop
their walk, and who would go first?
Whose blood would satisfy them most?
Their feet are heavy,
crossing no mans land is like walking on the mine fields.
What if those hidden hands are playing Russian Roulette?
The womans hand sweats holding her daughters hand.

Who or what saved them that April morning?
The girls pale face or a new life in the womans womb?


They crossed from the East to the West
and further away they went.
The woman gave birth to a son whose reason to come
was to save his family. Having fulfilled his mission,
he rested on earth for 36 hours,
then returned to the unknown place he came from.

The man, child and the woman never came back to unlock their home.

copyright 2009 Sonya Sabanac