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When my son grows older…

When my son grows older and asks me about God I believe in,

I’ll tell him of Stepanivna, who give her preserves stored in jars

“You’ll eat, boys, and on those beasts’ mugs you’ll leave them scars.”

She’d say, placing her trust in the boys, not even the sons of her own.

Giving them what meager money in her fist that she could shove

I’ll tell him of Victor, who’d been toiling 8 years to build up his home,

and when the rocket smashed it and the house was blown,

he headed decidedly for the nearest bomb shelter saying:

“Get the kids ready, I’m driving you out from the rubbles,

as long as my car can make it.”

About Artem, one of those dreaming to be wealthy IT-lads,

who’d transfer all his money to Oksana,

who with her baby’s sleeping, orders the armour pads.

And then descends to the bunker several times a day

where every noise makes her tremble awake.

About Andriy with four young kids with the long life-path before them to go

who took them to a godforsaken house in the place God only knows

“My love, do not be scared of solitude, wind and mice shuffling,

Your front line’s here, mine – there, we’re fighting a battle.”

About Svitlana, student of math, “Thunderstorm” ‘s her calling name,

she’d hauled injured Andriy on her shoulders through the open terrain.

About the ancient grandma, Maria, baking bread, shedding tears in her dress:

“War, my children, is an immense hardship, starvation — a huge distress.”

I’ll tell my child of everyone holding their weapon, despising their foe

of all those whose actions speak louder than words from abroad.

Everyone, who’d averted loot, devastation, and chaos – them all.

… who had laid down for real their bodies, their souls.

When my son asks, who of them all is Almighty God,

who saves from pain, starvation, lack of hope, getting cold

My answer will be: “My son, keep that in mind for good:

God’s in everyone in whom your trust you put.”

***the picture shows the bespoken grandma Maria

Mar 07, 2022

Ukrainian text by Myroslava Iltyo. Translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team – Mar 14, 2022

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