The little cripple
(The story of a former disabled child)
The distant rumble of battle was increasing,
and fascist "Junkers" mercilessly bombed us.
Th’ remains of our troops were quickly leaving
the city, and refugees – with them, alas.
No time for proper preparation.
What things to take? Maybe, to travel light -
to get away from the whirl consternation
by train, on foot, on horse, in flight.
The last of trains is there at the station.
With shouting we take the places swift.
The bombings are like hell illumination,
they all destroy and make the city rifts.
The wheels are counting the covered distance.
The train is going and producing smoke.
The winds bring us a splinter as a fierce lance
It breaks the van, destroys the life and hope.
I feel the smell, the coal smoke is near.
I am in blood, not seeing my own feet.
The station doctor said to me: « My dear,
now you’re a cripple, it’s the fate to meet».
Now I’m not able to go to exploration,
and with a girl I can’t be next and dance.
The God of war marked me with the wound location.
To live with it I’ll have a poor chance.
Who is to blame that we are humble cripples?
It was the war that mutilated us throughout world.
The fates were broken just like tiny needles.
The culprits, to the Day of Judgment, won’t be called.
I blame the killers, for them there’s no compassion.
I blame the tyrants-chiefs we and the other people had.
I curse them all my life with loathing and passion
on the behalf of all the living and the dead.
Nothing is sacred at the soul
Vandals tried to burn the monument to Holocaust victims. Still the hooligans are not found. Last year the attackers desecrated the Menorah monument in Babi Yar four times.
The fearless screams are heard already nowadays.
The whole country knows they are apologizing
for their sin of killing us in woods in many ways.
We all were mocked and so we were surviving.
The Jews weren’t treated as the other people then.
The Jews were robbed without any fright and fear.
The kids and women were then perished when
the pits for them were made in haste just near.
The bloody river of the innocent was deep.
The fascists’ hands are in the blood forever.
The victims number isn’t known. We weep.
The burial trenches can’t be counted ever.
The years passed. The sea of tears narrowed.
The tombs of those killed are guarding their peace.
With threat the stones of the tombs‘re enveloped.
They are the vandals who are trying them to cease.
The young gladiator
We left the home and went on foot.
The city saw the tanks.
We reached the station with no food,
a loaf for all – no swanks.
In Kazakhstan we had new homes,
we fled there under bombing
but found there snowy storms.
The wish of food was growing.
The local "boys" there used to play:
they mastered whips they had
and gave me whippings every day -
exchange for a piece of bread.
My crying mom was watching that,
the skin with scars was blue …
In Berlin fought my lovely dad -
so hard were front ways too.
The village huts were nice one day:
the thatched roofs were everywhere,
the wells with shadoof on the way,
the sky was bright, the sun shone there.
The youth was walking in the streets,
the music was then heard,
and on the fields – a lot of wheats,
young couples met sunset.
And suddenly, as if the bursting glass,
to pieces their life was broken...
The enemy disturbed the peace at once
and bombed them. Horror was awoken.
The family was killed, but we survived:
my furnace, I and little sister.
Then, in Siberia, we were revived
in Krasnoyarsk. I'm not a twister.
There, in the orphanage, we had the shelter.
For orphans it became a native place.
We studied there, lived in the cold and swelter.
We’re obliged to it and we’re full of grace.
The oil lamp
It is all that was left of the house.
Of the family – I and my dad.
In the garden I see burnt tree crowns,
and I’ve found the old oil lamp.
Now I see th’ ruined huts of my neighbors,
everywhere the remains of stoves.
Those fascists broke down to death us,
those scoundrels then ruined the homes.
All my kinsfolk were killed, it was here.
By the stove there’s my crying dad.
He will take the revenge with no fear...
I'll get to the rear, as I’m a small lad.
I’ll remember the shell-pit forever.
Dad has taken a handful of earth.
Now I flee. Let the carnage be never.
Th’ oil lamp to remember of death.
(All translated by Violetta Sakovich)