Sunrise, Sunset

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Sunrise, Sunset.

The pain comes in waves of nostalgia,

Smells that take me back to the culture

The culture from which my small body learned

To walk; to talk; to eat native food; to sing

Songs of a tongue softly spoken.

Do not dare read my papers and tell me

That I am American.

Whatever my blood or heritage may tell you,

My soul lives in those eastern hills.

Old babushkas still dealing with the freedom,

The right to be a citizen of a free country.

The cold winters that turn the streets into

Sparkling palaces, glass roads carrying me home.

Autumns that cause the space between the sky and the earth

To go on fire.

 

Sunrise, Sunset.

Warm soups, high castles, and history.

Growing up in a museum, a collection of centuries

Of culture, war, pain, and homesickness.

How can I hope to make you understand,

Why I do what I do,

Why I must go back to the distant land,

The home I love?

Cobblestone roads, memories of ice skating on ponds,

Colors of flowers and ribbons cover the blue skies

And yellow fields.

Let me be as homesick as I am,

As proud as I am of my home,

Of the people who fight endlessly for the freedom to exist.

The identity runs deeper than papers.

Do not take away my heritage.

 

Sunrise, Sunset.

Do not tell me that I am not completely

American or Ukrainian,

Because I am completely from

Where my heart aches for every day.

I cannot go through a day without a wave

Of longing, waters in soft streams running over me

Warm reminders that I have the dearest memories possible.

God, make me young again,

In the care of my parents, dependent on them,

And unaware that the fight for freedom my people have endured

Was only just beginning.

Day by day,

We wait in watch for the peace,

The return to home.

Sunrise, Sunset.

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