Poetry for Ukraine: Bucha (Draft 2)

Bucha (Draft 2)

They say
in the South the invaders
are like Colorado potato beetles,
dumb bastards in the Donbas;
in the North, war creatures can have
the façades of men, but rampaging,
they’re wicked trampling valenki
who have no pity, no remorse —
boots on the neck, on the breast,
teeth on the prey like war animals

There would be blood
and worse.

Many days ago,
staging in hell, they had emerged
from the bowels of Belarus
blundering demons who
in evil malice would became
the Butchers in Bucha

Few would predict anything.

A noted psychic said,
there would be
unending screaming
and bloody guts
trailing in defeat,
war crimes

But before…

There were days of delay.
It was a while ago that we asked you to close the skies.

Sometimes the sky is blue
sometimes it’s been yellow too
in better days of sunshine
when she’d played with joy

She had her eye on a boy
but she hadn’t dated yet
and he went off to war.

It was a while ago that we asked you to close the skies.
Yesterday would have been an auspicious day for Daryna
if the sky would have closed, because

she would not have thought that
God was hiding, but would have invited
all the birds to come inside, and then

after a prayer,
she’d perform a dance
like a rite of Spring for
her dogs and for the birds.

She could’ve imagined sky openings
behind the clouds, and would’ve
believed that after her dance
the sky would open to heaven

It was a while ago that we asked you to
give us planes. Yesterday
would have been an auspicious day

Today the birds were in the open sky,
the dogs were in the street agitated

Today,
Daryna ran out to catch her dog

Today,
there were more invading Russian Kolorady

Today under the sun in the street
the evil Russian Valenki
came like savage psychopaths

Daryna’s Mother screamed under a blue sky
because today was like yesterday, and

today Daryna’s Mother watched as
they shot Daryna’s dog
tore off Daryna’s clothes
and the savages
raped her in the street,
and yet it is said

the sky is open