Lyudmyla Khersonska

Lyudmyla Khersonska Headshot

Lyudmyla Khersonska is a poet and translator from Odesa, Ukraine. She is the author of four poetry collections in Russian. In 2022 her joint volume with the poet Boris Khersonsky, her husband, came out in English translation from Lost Horse Press, titled The Country where Everyone’s Name is Fear. Khersonska was recently included in the list, “33 International Women Writers Who are Bold for Change” by Words without Borders. Her latest book is Today is A Different War (Arrowsmith Press).

Hide Under the Blanket and Pull It Over Your Head

Translated from the Russian by Olga Livshin & Andrew Janco

Did you know that if you hide under a blanket and pull it over your head,
then, for sure, World War II won’t happen? Instead,
lie there don’t breathe, don’t let your feet stick out,
or, if you do, stick one out bit by bit.
Or try this helpful trick to stop a war:
first, carefully stick out one foot, then the other, now touch the floor,
lay back down, turn to one side, facing the wall,
turn your back to the war:
now that it’s behind your back, it can thrash and shred,
you just close your eyes, pull the blanket over your head, stock up on bread,
and when you just can’t deal with caring for peace anymore,
tear off some chunks, and when the night comes, eat what you’ve stored.

From Poetry Daily.