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Home » Poems

Childhoods by Apti Bisultanov

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 May 2009.    1,943 views No Comment
Childhoods by Apti Bisultanov

A poem from famous Chechen poet Apti Bisultanov about childhood and war.

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Childhoods


My grandmother used to say
if you see your childhood three times
you will live a long life
My father saw his childhood twice
The first time when he went to war
through the carriage window
he saw it there on the platform
It had come from his mountain village
all the way to say goodbye
The second time he saw it
was when soldiers
marched him off to exile
He turned and saw it
on the edge of the village
too scared to come with him another step.
Later it hid
at night
in an old defence tower with the wild doves
But NKVD soldiers blew up the tower
and it died
The third time
returning from exile
when they weren’t allowed home to the mountains
my father left his family on the plains
and went in search of his birthplace
On his way back
he turned
but he could not see his childhood
Then he understood
that one doesn’t always have
to want to live so much
I was small and didn’t take his point
But now I think I understand
his all too early death

P.S.
I only saw my childhood once
When I went to war
I turned around
and saw it at the gate
too scared to come with me another step
Bombs tore up the streets
Then
with timid terrified children
it went to hide in a cellar
But a valiant pilot dropped a bomb on the house
My son never saw his childhood
He went to war as a child.

Apti  Bisultanov

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