2018 Blogs

Up and down

By on November 18, 2018

she has been getting same steps not leaving her spot

from day to day from year to year

she has been crippled and speechless

unable to put words to their boxes

so many times did she use to think of jumping out of a window

they threw her into

so happy would she be if they hadn’t filled her up

with fear and deprivation of family stories

so lucky would she be if she knew

her grand-grandmother was not kicked to death

by a boot of a military

no one waited for her grandfather that early

even his father who loved his wife more than earth

if she knew that her grandfather’s elder brother

were not shot for fighting for his family

if only she knew a family of one of her grandmothers

were not forced to live in Siberia


well her father was taught how to sneak off

how to bring his identity home so that no one

would ever notice he was not like other children

and to discuss the most intimate only on the kitchen

since the most intimate is something you rarely share

you feel it to be always oppressed


because the dead speak through ones who survived

all them killed deported and crucified peer into her

through words she’s learned as a child and pictures she’s read

through acts she’s accepted and fought

through her grand-grandmother grandmothers

grand-grandfather grandfathers grandfather’s brother

her father


when it freezes inside a church she

puts her hands over the top of candles

and her fingers start glowing red around the edges

in the dark

she needs to hold them

up and down down and up

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Oksana Lebedivna

She lives in Kyiv and loves "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare and "Ulysses" by James Joyce / Homer. I am currently studying for Ph.D. in historical phonology of Ukrainian at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. As it turned out, I also do a translation from Polish to Ukrainian. I have an overwhelming desire to understand her reading Joys and Shakespeare. But I'm not always getting her point well. Believe me, I'm not kidding you.

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