Родина-мать зовёт!

The eyes of the world
look down from the sky
on the men who fight
in basements, like rats,
with tooth and nail,
grenade and rifle,
frozen in the scope
amidst the burning smoke.

Walls of scarred rubble
split the lines
where ghostly songs float
beneath the falling steel,
shaking the sharpened tools
as they burst from door
to door and floor
to floor of the ruined tower.

Rivers of fire crawl along
streets where once were
wooden homes, the pearl
of the Volga’s pride,
Now sons and daughters
fall before the black guns,
Mourned by the mother’s tears
that rain and rain and rain.

Pressed against the frozen river
the wind howls and cracks,
Spitting and hissing at the
crumbling city as it swallows
lives, spirits in bright red
paying for their glory
on the banks under hail,
Dying in immortality.

Onwards, onwards, not a step back
to the boats whence they came,
a flood of fury pouring
uphill, drowning the fascists
in blood! On the banks
they fight with the rage
of a stirring nation,
the rising wave, their sacred war.

За родину!
за Сталина!
[2 февраля 1943]

red flag above square in stalingrad


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