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  • Writer's pictureOleksandr Sereda

20 MINUTES TO FREEDOM

I leave my house to find lost home

This place is kidnapped and betrayed

The noisy streets are swept by deadly northern storm

It used to be a city but now it is a jail of hybrid hate


We’ve packed our bags and step outside

The sun is shining but there’s no light

I am inhaling but all I can smell is rotten pit

I see collaborators’ bloody colours

I do my best not to vomit


I’m on my way and breaking free

The trees, the roads are just the elements of silent hell

We’re going south, towards the sea

Good bye to Donetsk – the tortured book left in a cell


Voices of the voiceless are heard on our winding path

I share their hope, despair, unprecedented wrath

Some of them have been silenced forever

But they are alive, speaking the truth, louder than ever


Black traces of bombs accompany the trip

They are like wounds that never heal

The arm of death has firmly placed its cruel grip

The river Styx is busy with extra duties to fulfil


We’re approaching the enemy checkpoint, the first of two

The ones who kill their neighbours are now starring at our van

One barrier to freedom’s gone – they let us through

I’m looking back to whisper, “What mothers bore you, deadly clan?”


The second hurdle of underground rats is left

I feel bereft

They give green light and throw at us their vicious look

We’ve wriggled off their final khaki hook


Hello our new old world where everything has meaning

I am reborn and now catching every glimpse of August sun

I fall in love again with what I’m seeing

It’s not that marvelous for neutral but seen by me as painfully exquisite flower beneath a dirty gun


I’m far away from where I used to witness Tippler pigeons every morning

The distant sounds of artillery are echoed as strategic warning

I’m one, but not alone

We’ve left our house to find lost home

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