By Borys Humenyuk, OUN Battalion
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine




Today, we are digging the ground again

This loathsome Donetsk ground

This hard and petrified ground

We cling to her

We hide in her

While still alive.


We hide in the ground,

Sitting quietly in it

Like small children on our mother’s back.

We hear the beating of her heart

As she wearily breathes.

We are warm and peaceful:

Still alive.


Tomorrow we will already be dead

Perhaps a lot of us

Maybe all.


Do not take us from the land

Do not tear us from our mother

Do not gather our remains from the battlefield,

Do not try to reconstruct us again

And – we  implore you – no crosses,

Commemorative signs or commemorative plates.

We do not need this.

Since it is not for us – it’s for yourselves

You put up majestic monuments.

There’s no need to mint our names anywhere.

Just remember:

In this field

On this land

Lie Ukrainian soldiers

And this – is all.


Do not give us back to our parents

We do not want our parents to see us like this

Let our parents remember us as young children,

Naughty boys

With slingshots and bruises on our knees,

With “F’s” in our report cards

With a handful of apples from the neighbor’s garden.

Let our parents hope that we will someday return

That we are somewhere.


Do not give us back to our wives

Let our beloved remember us as handsome

As those who were liked by many girls

But became theirs.

Let them remember our hot lips

Our hot breath

Our passionate embrace

Let them not touch our cold forehead

Our cold lips.


Do not return us to our children

Let the children remember our warm eyes

Our warm smiles

Our warm hands

Don’t let the kids touch, with trembling lips

Our cold hands.


Here, in these trenches,

What is now our temporary accommodations

And tomorrow will be our graves

Bury us.


No need for valedictories.

In the silence that comes after the battle,

It always looks out of place.

It’s like poking a fallen soldier

And asking him to stand up.

There’s no need for memorial services

We know regardless where our place is now

Just cover us with earth

And – go.


It would be good if there was a field on that spot

The rye would sway

And the lark in the sky

And – the sky

Plenty of sky.

Can you imagine what kind of bread the field would bring forth

Where the defenders lie?!


(In memory of us eat the bread from the field

Where we fell.)


It would be good if on that spot there were meadows

And lots and lots of flowers

And a bee over every flower.

So that at twilight lovers would come,

Would weave wreaths

And love each other until the morning.

And during the day young parents would come

With little children.

(Do not prevent the children from coming to us.)


But this will be tomorrow.

Today we still dig the ground

This dear Ukrainian ground,

This sweet gentle ground.

Writing with sapper’s shovels

Upon her body

The last verse of Ukrainian literature.

While still alive.

Source: Borys Humenyuk FB


This entry was posted in "Voices" in English, English, English News, South&Eastern Ukraine, War in Donbas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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