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This poem is taken from PN Review 268, Volume 49 Number 2, November - December 2022.

Nine Poems Oksana Maksymchuk
Sasha Dugdale writes: Oksana Maksymchuk is a scholar and anthologist, co-editor of the ground-breaking Words for War (https://www.wordsforwar.com), which gives voice to a whole generation of exceptional Ukrainian writers in translation. Oksana herself is that rare thing: a bilingual poet. An author of two collections in her native Ukrainian, she also began writing poetry in English in 2016. This recent work, a response to the last eight months of war in Ukraine, resembles in form the poetry she writes in Ukrainian, with a pared-back and songlike structure.



Water Under the Bridge

No more bridge now
but the river
flows as it did before

like a single tear
rolls down the face
of the landscape

tears through the terrain
laid out for it by another tear
and another before it

Doesn’t grieve when the towns
clustered atop its banks
lie in ruins

Doesn’t weep
cradling the corpses
...


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