A Moment in Mariupol

from 20 Days in Mariupol, directed by Mstyslav Chernov

After the bomb burst the hospital, her wounds were incompatible with life,

the life she should have had to include dancing and, when this is history,

if not a piece of theatre, chasing her laughing toddler along the beach.

Yet she had life to give. They filmed her stretchered to the ambulance,

to bump off full speed for Hospital Two in Mariupol. 

Having started, the story must finish. They did reach Hospital Two,

outlined her scene one, guessing her thirty or so years. Gynaecology was noisy.

Stretchers kept coming in. But a doctor grabbed a moment for the camera.

‘She was Irina. Shattered pelvis. We got her baby out and tried to make it cry.

I wrapped it up and put it on the trolley to the basement.’