I heard sometimes that
if you want to return to the family -
destroy every tie related to it.
Burn it for no evidence to be left.
Cut the trunk for leaves of hope to be born.
I still learn how to do so by mind
while invaders already did it with weapons.
Killing, burning, and plundering everything
in their sight.
Leaving scorched earth behind them
- as they love to name it -
And yet, we will rebuild those homes
after the victory.
Those future meetings on the usual
and close to memories recreation base
where the mini-state can flourish
and anthems can be sung for half an hour.
Those surroundings where you feel
like in a forgotten settlement,
enriched by woods and life without a bother.
Those bridges where no one will never
again cross and hide underneath to escape from
kisses of mad creatures.
This country where no one will come
with a gun in hand and void in the head.
Translated from Ukrainian by the author
Yurii Lishchuk is a Ukrainian poet and translator. He was born in Ternopil, where he lives to this day. He is the author of a poetry book "stavozero" (2021). He has been a participant in many festivals and events like BookForum (Lviv, Ukraine; 2018, 2019), "Ї" (Ternopil, Ukraine; 2021), "Faine Misto" (Ternopil, Ukraine; 2021), and Creative Youth Seminar (Irpin, Ukraine; 2019-2021). The finalist of the poetry contest "Haivoronnya" (Kyiv, Ukraine; 2021), came third at the "Mili Dueli" contest (Jajce, Bosnia & Herzegovina; 2022).