MY FRIEND'S LIGHT by Andrei Voznesensky
I'm waiting for my friend. The gate's unlocked.
The banisters are lit so he can walk.
I'm waiting for my friend. The times are dull and tough.
Anticipation lightens our life.
He's driving down the Ring Road, at full speed,
the way I did it when he was in need.
He will arrive to find the spot at once,
the pine is lit well in advance.
There is a dog. His eyes are phosphorescent.
Are you a friend? I see you're not complacent...
Some headlights push the darkness off the drive.
My friend is to arrive.
He said that he would come at nine or so.
People are watching a TV show.
Should animosity drop in I'll turn it out, --
I'll wait around.
Months, years go by, but Herman's not in sight.
The whole of nature is cut off from light.
I'll see my friend in hell, or paradise, alive.
I have been waiting for him all my life.
He said he'd come at nine or so today.
God save him while he's on his way.
© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation