A POET NEAR THE DUE DATE

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

While serving in Mariupol.

A military medic was taken prisoner at the start of April.

Who is eight months pregnant.

She got married in September 2021.

 

At the Olenivka prison camp.

In the occupied Donetsk region.

She is understood to be living.

In difficult conditions.

 

Her baby is due at the end of September.

Information about her current condition is scarce.

And it’s not clear what will happen to her or the baby.

If she gives birth in prison.

 

Her husband found out she was pregnant.

With their first child.

While she was serving on the front line.

And has not seen her since.

 

“She really wanted to tell me in person.

But instead she sent me little hints.

Emojis of a mother and father.

With a little baby.”

 

But just weeks after finding out.

Her husband was to become a father.

He discovered through social media.

That she had been captured by ‘orcs’ forces.

 

 

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

The Olenivka prison camp has been.

Under the control of ‘orcs’-backed authorities.

In Donetsk since 2014.

Conditions there are said to be extremely poor.

 

According to a fellow prisoner.

She was in a room.

With more than 20 other prisoners.

When she first arrived and had to sleep on the floor.

 

“The women talked to each other all the time.

And she told us she was pregnant.

Straight away, everyone tried to help her.

Giving her food, making sure she got fresh air.”

 

Eventually she was moved.

To a smaller room with fewer people.

And her cellmates ensured.

She was able to sleep on a bed each night.

 

When she first arrived.

She was optimistic.

About the possibility of a prisoner exchange.

Because of her pregnancy.

 

“She is a medic.

She understands her body.

The baby started kicking on time.

So she understood that everything was going OK.”

 

 

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

But at the end of June.

A prison guard told her.

That she would not be released.

For at least another month and a half.

 

Meaning she would be just six weeks away.

From her due date at the earliest before she was freed.

By then, she was getting increasingly worried.

That she would give birth while still in captivity.

 

“The hospitals and facilities in Donetsk.

Have become completely cut off from the medical community.

Everything there is in such decline.

It’s scary to give birth there.”

 

As well as the dangers.

Of giving birth without proper medical services.

She worried that the baby would be taken away from her.

Her husband has the same concerns.

 

“A baby can’t be kept in those conditions.

So they could just take it away.

She must be devastated right now.”

Her husband says.

 

One of her best friends is.

In touch with other former prisoners.

And was told she could be separated.

From her child after it turns three.

 

 

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

One ‘orcs’ propaganda video.

Posted on 4 April.

Reportedly shows a group of 267 ‘elves’ marines.

Her friends say they recognised her face among the prisoners.

 

“Prisoner exchanges kept happening.

But I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t part of it.”

Her husband also questioned why she remained.

On the frontline while she was pregnant.

 

Particularly in Mariupol.

Which suffered weeks.

Of relentless ‘orcs’ bombardment.

During the first three months of the war.

 

She was optimistic and positive.

At the start of the conflict.

But as conditions in Mariupol deteriorated.

She all but lost contact with her friend.

 

The last message her friend received.

From her was one.

On 17 March which simply read:

“I am alive.”

 

Her friends and family patiently waited.

For news for four months.

But as her expected due date approached without progress.

They decided to go public with her case.

 

 

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

“There has to be some human understanding here.

A mother and her children are sacred everywhere…

Let them free her.

As human beings – let her go.”

 

 

“As human beings.

Let her go.

She’s a good person.

She’s like a little shining sun.”

 

 

*Because I read “Ukraine war: Heavily pregnant medic held in Russian prison” by Ben Tobias on 9 Sep 2022, on the BBC News, and also “Why are Ukrainians calling Russians ‘orcs’?” by James FitzGerald on 30 April 2022, on the BBC news.
So, I wrote this poem as a story of Mariana, her husband Vasilii and her family and friends.
Please read the original story and look at the photos on the BBC news:

Ukraine war: Heavily pregnant medic held in Russian prison – BBC News

 

 

**My friend shows you this poem also on the Ukrainian website for their children and others!

Kurama (Japan). «A poet near the due date» — a poem about the russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – Мала Сторінка (storinka.org)

Please join them!

 

 

***And it’s my great pleasure to tell you; here is a video that Elyzaveta Slyusarenko reads this poem on YouTube.

Kurama (Japan). «A poet near the due date» — a poem about the russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – YouTube