Heroes

Kira Rudik is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament
A soldier, seeing Russian troops 
coming too fast for a remote detonator
shouts farewell and runs onto the bridge
blowing himself up with it.

Thirteen guards on a tiny island, facing the enemy,
hear "Surrender or we bomb you."
Replying "Fuck you Russian warship!"
they die.

Brave Ukrainian patriots, 
men and women who have never held a gun
watch internet videos and
learn to fire Kalashnikovs.

A woman confronts a Russian soldier:
"You’re occupants, you’re fascists.
Take these seeds and put them in your pockets
so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here."

President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks,
defying invasion, staying in Kyiv:
"We are all here. Defending our independence. Our country.
And so it will continue."

No matter how courageous the stories,
no matter how inspiring the ballads,
I want live people planting their own flowers,
no more dead heroes.

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