9 May

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Who was it
Who walked out
Into the burnt wheat
And reaped smoke?
Who slept on the charred dirt
And ate raw horse
And stripped bark,
Lost teeth and friends
And saw everybody die
And kept on running
As the bullets stitched his legs?
Was told that he was dead
But lived again, again?
Who ran across the field
Bellowing “for Stalin!”?
Who was it
Who won it back for you
But gained nothing?
You do not know
because you do not know
or you do not remember.
Run now, to the hills
Or go out in the garden
Look up and close your eyes
And be silent
And you might taste the bitter drops
Of ashes scattered
High above the spring breeze.

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