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by Yevgeny Yevtushenko | |

Memento

 Like a reminder of this life 
of trams, sun, sparrows, 
and the flighty uncontrolledness 
of streams leaping like thermometers, 
and because ducks are quacking somewhere 
above the crackling of the last, paper-thin ice, 
and because children are crying bitterly 
(remember children's lives are so sweet!) 
and because in the drunken, shimmering starlight 
the new moon whoops it up, 
and a stocking crackles a bit at the knee, 
gold in itself and tinged by the sun, 
like a reminder of life, 
and because there is resin on tree trunks, 
and because I was madly mistaken 
in thinking that my life was over, 
like a reminder of my life - 
you entered into me on stockinged feet.
You entered - neither too late nor too early - at exactly the right time, as my very own, and with a smile, uprooted me from memories, as from a grave.
And I, once again whirling among the painted horses, gladly exchange, for one reminder of life, all its memories.
1974 Translated by Arthur Boyars amd Simon Franklin