Dear Ukrainian Friend

@KaremIBarratt

 

Ukrania Venezuela

 

Dear Ukrainian friend whom I never met,

I want to apologize for what I never did.

For those days of darkness when

Your roof tops where nest for snipers,

Hunting your youth and your elders.

Those days when you when out to fight

Armed with make shift shields, bicycle

Helmets and baseball bats, to return the

Bombs, the gas, perhaps the fear.

I bet you posted pictures on Facebook,

Showing the bravery and the blood,

The face of your friend, now gone,

The granny running holding hands

With a boy she never met before.

I bet you told the world in tweeter

And Instagram what was going on,

You reported, you showed, you screamed

You beg for a minute of air time,

Because the suffering of your people

Was more important than the fate

Of the poodles of a movie star.

It took time for the world to notice.

It took longer for it to care.

Perhaps I saw one of your pictures

And just scroll down, because my day

Was sunny or maybe just too

Cloudy and you and your people

Were neither my circus nor my clowns.

I’m sorry.

I am so, truly sorry.

If I weren’t brown my face would

Go red with shame.

I understand now your frustration

Of those days, the feeling

Of crying in the wilderness of

A life too busy, too full, to stop

For anybody.

I guess when you think about it,

You kind of understand, don’t you?.

The world is so crazy and there are

So many things going on, all the time,

In all places, like if the fabric

Of time and space had ripped and

All the “heres” and all the “nows” have

Collided into a single point. Become

A singularity once more.

But it hurts, doesn’t it?

It hurts when your pleas,

when your explanations

When your story is met by silence.

Sometimes a sad emoji.

Rarely a “this so sad”.

And you are grateful for every

Crumb of compassion.

Your good side anyway.

Because what you want,

What you really want, is people

To scream with you, “this is bad, this

Is wrong, this is murder, make it stop!”

You want the political version of Green Peace

Telling the world that, you, potential

Polar bear, are about to die.

That the country you love and grew in

Is melting faster than any ice cap.

You want some brave photographer

To take a picture of you, alone, floating

In a flimsy sheet of ice in the middle

Of the sea. Maybe then they will

See it before is too late,

Before the purple rivers of blood

Flood the streets and you become

A horror story, like Syria and Uganda.

But I guess there is a quota of corpses

You got to pay before networks grant you a minute

Or two of their precious time. Before

They send their bravest journalists,

With their bull-proof vest and iron hats

To your corners, to the park where

You used to play, to the ruins that was

Once your school, to the hallow buildings

With ghostly eyes, to tell the world

About what when wrong, and how it

Got right.

Because it will get right.

Will it get right, my Ukrainian friend?

Does it get right for everyone at the end?

My silent war is at the north of the south

Of what was once the New World -but

It now feels so old, so crappy, kids dying daily

For something called freedom, something

They believe is worth dying for. Kids that have

Not known any world but this, of red tyranny

And false paternalism. But Father government

Has shown its teeth, long and sharp

And like and angry Saturn is devouring

Its offsprings. And yet they stand, still.

Steadfast. Going to their protest, their battle fields,

With their makeshift shields and flags,

And Grandma’s baking gloves to throw back the bombs.

Old and young. Resolute. Dying and falling.

But standing still. Not turning back.

And in my Facebook page, in my version

Of SOS and screams for help, of

Any kind, I get the odd comforting message,

A sad face here and there. And the silence,

The emptiness of that rectangle that

It’s supposed to be the mouth piece

For my friends, my acquaintances, those

Who care for me. And I never dislike

The colour white as much as I do now, looking

At the blank space created for non-comments.

It must have been like that for you

In those dark, scary days. I think

It was Banksy who said that people

Would watch anything with a kitten

In it, and painted a giant, cute one,

Over the wall of a destroyed home

Blown up by a war.

I am sorry I chose the kitten over you.

Or the flower, or the meme, or

The last joke, or the recipe of the pineapple cake.

I’m sorry if humanity, as a whole,

Did not stand by you until the very end.

By I am holding on to you,

My dear Ukrainian friend.

Holding to the hope against hope,

Holding to the dream that justice,

Like Morgan Freeman would probably say,

We will prevail. Venezuela will prevail.

The blood on the sidewalk will

Become the blood of a new day, a new born,

And all this pain, all this loss

Will not be for nothing.

 

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