Joseph Skarbovsky

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.

The refugees were bombed in transit

The lattermost carriage was hitched to the train.
The loco was puffing and crawling on rails.
The echelon started its journey again,
it took away people with shouts and wails.

The traffic light showed us the salvatory way.
The train in a hurry was rushing through stages.
A pilot then started to bomb on that day
and cut short the marathon coolly, for ages.

The shouting couldn’t put out the flames.
All people were fleeing, they were eager for life.
The old man that covered his kid with suitcase
protected the child, the girl stayed alive.

And after the bombing - to carriages. Thus,
a terrible trip. The survived went ahead.
The killed remained lying. No tomb in the grass
in commemoration of those who were 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 children of the war

We and the Victory. Ten years –
such is the difference. We know a lot...
The rhythms of marches still awake us,
the memories are fresh and hot .

Today the boys and girls are trying
not to forget the rescue route,
the death notice, mother’s crying ...
Her tears burnt my childhood.

Can we forget the work at plants,
disturbing dreams at machine tool?
We buried friends in snow at once,
without wreaths, beyond the school.

Some fellows joined the guerrillas,
another came then to the front.
They went away like stormy rivers.
Their childhood was torn apart.

They learned to shoot and blew up r
Starvation mowed the childhood years
like blossomed flowers in the yard.

The orphans

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.

The boy of Babi Yar

29 people survived at the time of the Babi Yar tragedy.

I’ve not been there since those times.
My night dreams are th’ nightmare:
the killers’ fierce grimaces, crimes.
My people were shot there.

They made us naked, barefoot
and took away our wealth.
But, suddenly, we understood:
it’s a half-step to death.

I was alive while I was falling
to muddy trench with those dead.
Oh, no! Not there! Here! I’m calling
to see my parents grave ahead.

Among the dead here I was lying.
At night I got up, ran away.
I saw the hell doors. I am crying.
By chance, I had the lucky day.

Now, ugly people say in passion
Sukhoi and Babi Yars – they strive-
are just the ditches. - No compassion.
But I’m the victim, and alive.

I am the witness of the violence.
The gang was holding court - bad deed.
Mom pushed me to the trench with silence.
She hoped I would be saved indeed…

I’ve not been there since those times.
There are few orphans, as it is.
The ogre wished to make the crimes.
My people were shot there by the beasts.


(All translated by Violetta Sakovich)


Оставить комментарий

назад        на главную