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There Is a Zabava


06.10.14 Posted in today's words by

Nicole Yurcaba’s most recent poem to appear here was Keep Calm, Be Ukrainian (May 2013).

There Is a Zabava
By Nicole Yurcaba

There is a zabava,
and everyone is singing
the songs about the birds;
there is a pearl inside me
that wishes I could play
Dedushka’s mandolin which rests
in its battered leather case
because I feel, at times,
that all we as Ukrainians have
is each other and the music;
the squalling trumpets,
the plucked banduras,
the daring dentsivkas,
Diduk’s silenced mandolin
and the tribal drums
that move our feet
and sway our hips
and preserve on our lips
that intricate language,
those spider-web secrets
that are preciously ours.
I spread my arms
and I embrace the notes,
I intertwine with the rhythm;
I am in flight like sokoly
who flies close to Sura’s face
and kisses the clouds;
I am flying home
to Ukrayina’s green fields,
those wheat-washed fields
from which my family
should never have been separated,
those fields to which I try desperately to return,
and I fail and instead of sokoly,
I am the phoenix crashing
in flames to a world
in which I do not belong;
all that cushions me
is the music,
the music which resides in my hollow bones,
the music which crept through my grandfather’s bones

and my father’s bones,
and drove them to dance.



2 Responses to “There Is a Zabava”

  1. Peter Krones says:

    This heart-rending poem of love–it can only be sensed by opening to the essence of humanity carried in our bones and ancestral lives–if we open, and fly there in love. Thanks to the author, who opens her heart for all of us. . .

  2. Nicky, this made me cry.

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