Explore UAB

Lyudmyla Khersonska translated by Olga Livshin

NELLE 6 | 2023

On the eve of the war I bought rhododendrons.
I went out to plant them. Over our roof: drones;
an air raid siren is buzzing, the air defense, pounding.
It’s nothing. I am not scared, I'll have time to plant. It’s nothing.
The tiny cat grew huge with raised fur from the loud crash.
The music pours in from the window. A cantata by Bach.
The sun peeks from the sky. A drone flies,
somebody else’s ugly things thump from every side.
What is this rattling beast that shoots and shoots?
What bald putin bro celebrates
this war like some satanic marriage? Shame. Disgust.
Someone with horns. Someone who needs a slingshot.
I planted my plant, watered it, squinted at the evil heaven:
wherever you are, bald demon, I wish you weren’t!
You old-fashioned, retrograde, cunning nark!
Gramps from the past, a cop’s used-up cigarette butt!
Why the hell would I need your planes?
Your bombs, snouts, pilots?
I live here. It’s here that I plant flowers,
and your war in these parts is a weird, alien creature.
I breathed, I waited, I watched
the birds fly away from their execution by firing squad.
I still don't know how to—try, I suppose—
yes, try to get rid of the horned bros . . .

Facebook.    Twitter  Instagram