“We Christened Our Children Together / We Drank to Our Friendship”


Anastasia Dmitruk from Ukraine wrote another poem in 2014. Zaza Zaalishvili, a Georgian performer, performed the song (recalling the performances of the Lithuanian singers “We Will Never Be Brothers”. It’s an excellent bookend for that poem because it captures that potential closeness which was lost in large part in 2014, as well as now.

Here, with the usual apologies, is an imprecise and highly imperfect translation (e.g., “guys” is the best translation I could find of “ребята,” but it doesn’t have quite the same tone):

Restore our skies to you
Bring back our peace
Neighbors, why did you move?
Are you a war veteran?

We christened together our children
And drank to our friendship…
Chains around our necks?
Your soldiers in columns?

Much pain to us has been given—
Funerals for our sons.
We saw much sorrow,
Our strength grew.

Is it because you guys are here?
Why did you make the decision to go to war?
We will stand with you, brothers
Our parents were also taught how to shoot.

We stand—we have Freedom,
She won’t be carried off by machineguns.
We will not surrender without fighting
All churches should sound the alarm.

Guys, we saw death.
She looked at us with courage
No need for war, no need…
After, you can’t go back.