The Death-Rattle of an Ukro Artillerist
An Ukro gunner lay dying
On a road near Debalstevo.
He said to his Nazi comrade,
“Man! Won’t be needing my TiVo . . .
Oh, if I could fly like a bird
Back to my grandmother’s townhouse,
I’d hide down under the floorboards
Like some cheese-eating little mouse,
When the enlistment officers
Come hunting their cannon fodder.
But they told me that Bandera
Would have thought it odd and odder
To see a young blood like myself
Without a wolf’s hook on a tat.
So I shaved my head and I shouted,
And I made vows to this and to that.
It was mainly just the boredom —
What with no prospect for a job —
And the chance of all that money
I might be paid or I might rob
That explains my joining Azov
And finding myself in the East.
There I was assigned to a gun
And told to provide a real feast
Of fire, hot steel, and destruction
For the women of the Donbass.
But, every time we shelled them,
We quickly found ourselves eating grass,
As their counterbattery fire
Grew more accurate, day by day.
And the winter just got colder,
‘Til I thought for sure we’d away
From the Debaltsevo projection,
Which was certain to get us killed,
But, no!, our fearless commanders
Back-pedaled and back-filled,
Saying that there was no danger
And that everything was fine.
Soon though Givi and Motorola
Came storming across the line
To take the heights above our heads
And give us back some of our own.
Now I’ve no time as I bleed out . . .
To hear what turned you into stone.”
— David Adrien Lemire