Best take the tram if you’re going back to the past
with its bell, the drunk bloke next to you,
the grimy school kid, the mad old girl,
and, of course, the poplar leaves drawn in its trail.
Five or six tramstops later
we ride into the nineteen-eighties –
factories to the left, works to the right,
no one cares, get out your fags, what’s wrong with you.
What’s that you’re mumbling, sceptical, something
like this is all lifted from Nabokov.
He was the
barin’s son, you and I are the leftovers,
come on, smile, there are tears on your face.
This is our stop –
posters, banners, here and there,
blue sky, red neckties,
somebody’s funeral, musicians playing.
You play along to them on your whistle
and then float off to the beautiful sound,
leather jacket, hands in your pockets,
along that path of unending separation,
along that road of unending sadness
to the house where you were born, melting into sunset
solitude, sleep, the moulting of leaves,
come back as a dead soldier.
Read original poem and see other poems performed on www.borisryzhy.com