Mother Russia

More people died in Leningrad

Than the whole of the British

And American war dead of World War Two

Russian suffering has been immense

Russians suffered from Stalin and his dictatorship

From the cruel and heartless communist system

And from the German invasion

Russians were cruelly treated

And their soldiers behaved cruelly in return

Viciousness has ruled that land

All my lifetime and long before

 

When I was a young boy and an altar server

We knelt down at the end of Mass

To say the prayers for Russia

I thought Russia must be a very dangerous place

It made me fearful

That the pope has ordered prayers for her

To be said every Sunday when Mass was over

 

We have lived with the Cold War and the Russian Bear

Then Gorbachev came along

And we smiled in hope

Then Yeltsin made us uncertain

With his inebriated dancing

And handed his country over to Putin

 

Now I don’t know any more

Leaders, if they transgress the moral law,

Live in growing fear that they might be

Made accountable for their crimes

 

Fear stalks the corridors of power

The Russian state battens down the hatches

Sarah Rainsford, journalist

And lover of Russia

Is deported from the country

Because they say she is a threat

 

I thought Putin and his pleasant smile

Might augur something good

Not now

But I will keep on

Saying prayers for Russia

 

Brian Fahy

31 August 2021

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