Happy Victory Day!

My Grandmother during the Battle of Stalingrad


The door’s brush

On the wooden floor

Wakes me

Distant cannons

Smell of unwashed men

Smoke and spits

A young voice

Not from our village speaks:

“Take us in for a day,



She’s my Mother,

Not yours.


She’s giving them

My potatoes

My milk

She is laying my dowry

On the floor as their beds


I hug the calf

Nestled against the oven


At night

They go

Potatoes, milk

And warmth

Part of their bodies


They’re going to stop the cannons

My Mother says


Today, 9 May is the day when many countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia celebrate Victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.

My Grandmother Zinaida was a little girl and witnessed the Red Army gathering forces for the Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943), key event of the war when the advance if the Nazi Army was stopped and the Red Army started pushing them back.

Winning that battle and the war on the whole was due to efforts of all Soviet people, not just the Army. Everyone: men, women, the elderly and children worked for war effort behind the front line. Civilians, themselves destitute and hungry, sent anything that could be useful to the soldiers such as warm mittens and socks to the front.

My Grandmother is 84 this year. I wish her good health and dedicate this poem to her and to my late Great Grandmother, whom I was lucky to know until her passing away eight years ago.


4 thoughts on “Happy Victory Day!

    1. So kind of you to say so! Yes, I am very proud to say that my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother have contributed directly to the victory at Stalingrad.

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