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This poem is taken from PN Review 266, Volume 48 Number 6, July - August 2022.

Poems (translated by Matilda Hicklin)
translated from the Russian by Matilda Hicklin
Maria Kroupnik


Why has my land borne such a burden?
Why has my land brought all this shame?
To lose children, to howl for mothers in pain,
gulping down dust, trampling time into the dirt.
Fate, the future, scattered like sand.
What should I do? What’s in my hands?
They’re empty. Through my fingers
slipped reality, like grains of wheat. Can’t hold on.
To love? Settle down? Become a mum?
Look for work? Drop everything and run?
Where to? Questions without a voice or answer.
A newsfeed flashes before my eyes.
Despair and grief. There’s no Saviour
and with tears of blood the Mother of God
will wash everything not made by us,
and we have to answer for it all.

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