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A letter to a child of war - Lina Buividavičiūtė

My child, they say, when boys are born

to an entire generation, we must wait for war.

At a similar time, we had sons –

we rejoiced, all of the matrons of the family,

but dark forms loomed,

there was no calm. My grandmother

saw those forms before the Second

World War when she glimpsed the sign of the cross

in the sky, women, alone,

bearing all of the world’s burdens

on their shoulders. On September 11

You will turn eighteen, and I

watch the skies more nervously, follow

the news in neighboring lands.

And yet, I forgive You for being born, child of war.

I can’t describe how much I’d never want

to have to mark the door of our home

with the blood of a lamb when you return.

My hope is that

you’ll never know how cold steel

weighs on your hands and heart, how you break out in sweat

during sleepless nights counting

the fallen. Is it for You

that I hope for this, or for me?

Still, the most frightening things aren’t bludgeons, phantom

limbs, our faded hair –

the most frightening thing is that we’ll never be rid of

the ghosts of the bare wind, nothing will be

as it once was.

And yet, I let You go, child of war –

My reigns no longer hold back the horses.


Lina Buividavičiūtė was born on May 14, 1986. She is a poet and literary critic. Lina is an author of two poetry books in Lithuanian language. Her poetry is published in "Matter", "Masters", “Proverse poetry prize" contest anthologies, "Drunk monkeys", "Beyond words", "The Dewdrop", "Red noise collective", "The limit experience", "Beyond queer words", "Maudlin House", "Cathexis northwest press", "Poetry online" magazines and "Versopolis". Upcoming publications will appear in “New millennium writings”, "Cathexis northwest press", "Red noise collective", "Sad girls club" and “Beyond words” magazines. These poems are translated from Lithuanian to English by Rimas Uzgiris and Ada Valaitis

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