From afar (We stand)

Agnieszka Zbieranska
3 min readMar 24, 2022

A Polish girl’s view on the war in Ukraine (poem).

Photo from Pexels by Kostiantyn Stupak

As the red power unleashes
Across fertile lands of green
I can’t help but be brought back
To the hell and pain once seen

You ask me, why is my grief so deep
For Ukrainian people
Those still fighting proud
And those who won’t ever wake up
From their sleep

I’ll tell you the tales my grandma passed on to me
Of a father tortured on the city square
His scream, as he prepared for death
Forever becoming part
Of her dreams

I’ll tell you of two lovers
Who on their wedding day
Sealed their love in fight
The boy’s heart pierced by the bullet
The girl survived a widow,
But forever hollow inside

I’ll tell you of a brother
Who never came back home for dinner
As the soup grew cold, his mother prayed
For him to die quickly
For she’d not wish the alternative
Upon the world’s greatest sinner

I’ll tell you of many a night
When those deemed threat to comrade Stalin
Were lined up in dark forests
Shot at the back of their heads
With no chance to say goodbye
Or put up a fair fight

I’ll tell you of our cities — once pride of our kingdom
Their markets full of colour, streets brimming with joy
Then painted in Soviet grey, turned silent and cold
For fear is the best weapon to suffocate
The last breaths of freedom and hope

I’ll tell you about decades of empty shelves in shops
Of kindness being the only currency
Of faith squashed and churches closed
Of ideas and opinions imposed from above
And if you dared to oppose them
You’d better pay your farewell to those you loved

I’ll tell you of a nation that used to love to sing
Used to love to dance, the arts, the food, the drink
The decades of occupation taught us not to sing too loud
And not to dance too much
We hang out heads down low
In hope to just be left alone

Now let me tell you about our friends
Who’d promised to stand by our side
Their support like a candle in the wind
Or leaflets dispersed over the occupant’s land
Given away in the hands of a bully
For a semblance of peace and the status of a victor
Now they get to hold the title of the world’s protector

So don’t be fooled when you see the world chanting
To free Ukraine and to stop the swift
Threatening to embargo the shit out of this ungodly war
These threats is where their action ends

Strengthening the borders around the burning land
We’re deep inside grateful it’s not us
We hope the history won’t repeat itself
And in this foolish hope with Ukraine we stand
But not arm in arm as we ought
But safely, from afar



Agnieszka Zbieranska

Business Psychologist, Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, 200hr Yoga Teacher. A firm believer that we can all be better than ‘ok’, in every area of our lives.