From the Russian of Boris Poplavsky
To Anna Prismanova
Maiden autumn came down from heaven.
Sky blue to the brim.
The white ship of the lonely sinks
quietly in high, bright-eyed seas.
Under the birch tree in the yellow forest
sleeps a handsome forest Jesus.
A gentle hare stands over him
warming his paw on the yellow halo.
Maiden autumn you are beautiful
as my dead soul.
You are quiet as the dawn mist
in which she went away from the earth.
O Lord God, how easy it is,
how deep, how far from this earth.
She lived in a dark house.
She did no evil to anyone.
She cried a lot, slept a lot.
How good that she died.
If there’s no God or heaven,
she’ll sleep sweetly in the dark.
Sweeter than lying in golden paradise,
where I’ll never come after her.