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This water, my friend, this water will change you
The way iron is smelted from the ore
And will never turn back into the rock, won’t hide in it
The way we had been hiding in the ticket, like animals.
This water, the very first sip of it tells you
The things the river was keeping to itself during the draught
– Your friendly blackish river the aliens camp at,
Drinking it and sneering from out there:
For yourselves are like prey for them, like deer for their guns.
You take your nectar from the grey rock’s udder.
In the kingdom of strawberries, though it is too late for them.
With your ladle you gather it;
and your friends, and children, and women
Are one family from now on, and it cannot be changed.
With this water, I came back to our camp, our caves.
I came back for I had promised.
– I survived because I had promised.
One can die because of this water. A bullet can
Hit the deer, your pot can be lost – and that’s all.
I had jumped down from that rock,
I didn’t let them find us. I came late to the cave,
after gathering the water again.
I came late, it was very late, I fell down, and I lay down.
Then other people were going to get water,
but the iron did not get rusty. It was hard then,
but it doesn’t matter now when I am here.
But do know: this water can put your heart
to the other side of your chest.

Hanna Yanovska

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