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 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
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
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.