Whisper histories our
Grandmothers passed

like sugar cubes bitter and
sweet — tongue after

tongue so we would chant
louder — later —

Once upon wheat fields, color
of sun, once upon skies, color

of an infant’s breath —

Whispers of Babi Yar, pit
of slaughters kin to this year’s

landfill, kin to where my father
was spit from his mother’s depths —

where he said he was
Russian, to not have his own

tongue slit — dirt today where
Russia’s flames bury babies

who will never grow old —
Whispers of Odessa, once

for her song and colors, still now
for broken voices under moonrise

In a fist I’ve carried since
when, or then —

a grain of a cry the color
of iron — whispers

of thorns for gardens
that belong to none

but their interred,
and even so, their winter births—

*On Sept 29, 2023, Volodymir Zelensky visited the site of Babi Yar, on Ukranian soil—it was the 82nd anniversary of the massacre.


Margo Berdeshevsky, NYC born, writes in Paris. Her forthcoming book is: It Is Still Beautiful To Hear The Heart Beat from Salmon-Poetry. Just published: Kneel Said the Night (a hybrid book in half-notes) from Sundress Publications. Author of Before The Drought /Glass-Lyre-Press/finalist for National-Poetry-Series, Between Soul & Stone and But a Passage in Wilderness / Sheep-Meadow-Press, and Beautiful Soon Enough /FC2 /recipient of 1st Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Award. Other honors: Grand prize for Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and the Robert H. Winner Award from Poetry Society of America. Widely published in international journals, kindly see her website:

Leave a Reply