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A poem to Ukraine’s Berkut

Tetiana Malakhova from Horlivka, Donetsk

Hi there, young man, behind your grey shield,
following odious orders.
What can make you regret that today
you are shooting your own brothers?
Who is it you are defending, young man?
Is it those who toss bones your way?
What for? Why do this? How could you?
You’re no guest in this land, today.
You’ll take heaps of money back home, I’ve no doubt,
to loll for a year on your divan.
Just remember, young man, that this money has blood—
The blood of Serhiy Nigoyan.
The day that you fly off to Sharm El Sheikh’s sun,
to rest after killing your brothers,
a plume will be trailing behind you, a curse
for Yuriy Verbytskiy’s murder.
And after this holiday, when you go home
with bags all bursting in hand,
remember that junk’s for the eyes that you shot at
not long ago on the Maidan.
And when you go buying your son and your daughter
those toys and a bike, you should know:
That’s for the livers and kidneys you battered
for all the world to know.
And when you receive that apartment at last,
and lie naked in your nice cozy bath,
remember the boy whom you fat grunting hogs
tortured naked and stood in the frost.
Young man! Young man! Those epaulettes will fade,
the money will end someday.
But life goes on and that short word “Berkut”
will haunt you to your dying day.

Thanks to Maryna Byshenko and Svitlana Husak for helping with the Russian original!!!

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