I’m a Yakovlev fighter - My engine, it screams, My home’s wherever it’s higher; But he who’s sitting here inside me Is thinking that he is the fighter. A Junkers I zapped on my last sortie - I treated him like a toy; But he who’s sitting here inside me Has really got me annoyed. The flight mechanic had rectified me - In my last fight I was shot through; But he who’s sitting here inside me Again spins me like a corkscrew. To airfields and aerodromes the bombers bring Death with their shelling; But I feel the stabiliser still sings: "Peace be in your dwelling." A Messerschmitt’s coming up close behind me; I’ll be hurt - now it’s time for flight; But he who’s sitting here inside me, Is desperate for a dogfight! What is he doing? We’re going to explode... On the sand though I will not burn! With my systems and gears in overload From a dive I manage a turn. I’m leading, but where now the plane following Has gone, burn me, there’s no telling; He burst into smoke, bowed and started to sing: "Peace be in your dwelling!" And he who’s sitting here inside my skull Is left alone in the soup; He only confused me by making me plunge Straight after looping the loop. He tugs on the wheel and the load then doubles; He’s an ace, this pilot of mine! I have to obey again for my trouble - But this is the very last time! I swear, I’ll no more do his will, bow and scrape; I’d rather lie on the ground! But doesn’t he hear how my pulse starts to race - My petrol-blood has run out. An aeroplane’s patience can be sorely tried And his time’s already been; But he who was sitting right here inside Slumped head-first against my windscreen. He’s dead! At last with no burden I fly; I’ll burn the last of my force. But what’s this? I enter a free-falling dive And there’s no way I can change course! How sad that my freedom so little should bring; Let another one try excelling. So in the end it was my turn to sing: "Peace be in your dwelling."
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2007