Khaibakh by Apti Bisultanov
A poem about the Khaibakh Massacre on February 27,1944 during the Operation Lentil (the mass deportation of Chechen nation to Central Asia and Sibiria on February 1944). As it was impossible to convoy deportees to the railway stations on the plain due to a snowstorm, 700 villagers, including women and children, were locked in the stable and burned alive, while those trying to escape were shot.
I know nothing, not where head or foot
A beak gnaws away at my heart
Sharp claws force out a scream
My song resounds over ruins
Soft tissue oozing from spine
No pain remains, no fear,
Wings fanning ash
Echoes catching cries:
“Khaibakh, ach, Khaibakh, ach, Khaibakh!
Bodies – people, animals – burning!
Prayers for the dead burning!
Graves of our fathers burning!”
I must stand – am nothing but bones
Must walk – my knees are crushed.
Rocks towering form a dungeon
Shadows flickering enclose me:
“Who is your father? His name?”
“Leave me be, ghosts of the dead.
Would you shatter my skull?”
Gradually the ghosts assume form.