Kyiv Chestnut Trees
The evening melts in night’s embrace…
The sapphire depth of the sky
Gazes at the chestnut trees of Kyiv.
Overhung chimeric ruins
Frown the bushy brows into the dusk…
The cool silence sucks upon the tranquility,
Only the restless wind blows
The song of rustle.
The chestnuts sparkle with blossom-candles
Among the tombs of lands.
A May evening melts as honey
And dreams in the chaos of ruins.
1942 р.(Oxana Dray-Khmara. A Ray through the Clouds: Collection of poems. Kyiv: Smoloskyp, 2010, p. 39.)
In Kyiv, the Dray-Khmara family lived on Sadova Street near Proletariat Park and Soviet Garden (presently, City Garden and Mariinsky Park), where Oxana had often walked with her father. Years later, she looks back at those days: ‘Despite the strain of rigorous scholarship, Daddy often took me to the park. Once, he made a photo of me. The picture of a little Oxana with a bow ribbon and a bunch of flowers was always on Daddy’s desk.’