MOYSEY FISHBEIN

 

THE RAVINE

 

I

Birds beat their wings
Against the morning still.
A solitary voice.
A solitary star.
Yesterday's footprints
Not yet erased,
An evening without the cradle song.
Yesterday's faces
Still in the mirror.
Rachel is asleep,
Still no hole in her forehead.
A solitary call.
The star is gone,
The birds observe the earth
Down from the frigid sky.
Foot-shuffle. Uproar. A screech. Then clatter.
Here they walk
over cold, hard cobblestones,
thousands of people
walk between hard, merciless walls,
bearing along
Rachel, still without a hole in her forehead,
here it is, the forehead, a child's forehead
without a hole,
they carry her toward the machine guns.
Foot-shuffle. Clatter. A screech. Uproar.
From the sky
birds look down
at the earth.

 

II

Cranes over Babyn Yar -
September is in grief.
Cranes over Babyn Yar -
What is left of hope.
Black shadows in heavy silence,
In solitude
The cranes fly above the autumn, above the day, the night,
Cranes' bodies
Carry the unattainable on every wing
and disappear in the fog.
Over Babyn Yar the cranes are aflight,
these September tears.

Kyiv, 1974

(translated from Ukrainian by Roman Turovsky-Savchuk, 12/29/2006)

 

 


THUNDERS

WHEN WE WHERE...

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