The Road

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1 August 2015

The Road

By Yevdokia “Dunya” Sheremetyeva [littlehirosima]

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

[To read Yevdokia Sheremetyeva’s other dispatches from the Donbass, click on the ‘littlehiroshima’ tag above the title.]

The long road of life.
Dotted with tanks. And shell holes in the asphalt.
Bent safety barriers and bullet-riddled road signs.
An endless procession of sunflowers, sheafs, and steppes.
The grave of a young man between the border of Russia and what once was Ukraine.

Heat and toil. Girls by the roadside with buckets of apricots or ears of corn.
Burned out gas stations.
Crippled men walking down city streets.

A border, and young kids asking for passports.
An endless line. A caravan of buses with kids.
Young kids squeezed into neckties sticking their noses everywhere. Among them chain-smoking and apathetically cursing drivers.
And then the endless night traffic jams near Pavlovsk. When the road is blocked for a whole night because of repairs.
When you can finally leave the car and walk and stroll without worrying that suddenly cars will start moving. A dead stop. Darkness overhead–clouds are concealing the blanket of stars. And a dense forest.
And then sleep in the car seat on the side of the road. When you can’t go on any more..

It’s a sunrise directly ahead over endless valleys.
It’s clouds of all imaginable shapes.
It’s rain, followed by a rainbow over the fields.
A day and a half on the road. And then home.
Where the biggest problems are the mortgage, low salary, and a loud neighbor.
And then sleep, endless sleep without dreams. But no, no–you jump up nervously, before sinking into it again.
I barely returned and I’m leaving again.
To a close friend on Malta.
To the Mediterranean, a tiny island which I haven’t visited in 10 years.
Where I’ll be writing reports, reports, reports.


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