I lived in my ma and pa’s flat
In the Arbat, lucky me!
Now I’m swaddled in a bed that’s
In the field infirmary.
What of fighting on the right side,
Worldly cares, Klava the nurse?
Now my neighbour on the right’s died;
On my left he’s getting worse.
Then one day all of a fever
That guy in the left-hand bed
Burst out saying: "Listen, geezer,
Did you know you’ve lost your leg?"
Was he joking? Have I heard wrong?
Come on, mates, it can’t be so.
I was promised by the surgeon:
"We’ll just amputate the toes."
But more jokes and more guffaws came
From that self-same left-hand bed -
If he raved before the dawn came
He’d still talk about my leg.
He’d say, mocking: "You won’t get up,
Bet your wife finds someone else."
Comrade, if you ever let up
Take a good look at yourself.
If I wasn’t such a wreck and
I could get down off this bed,
Then I’d strangle in a second
That damn neighbour on my left.
I’ve been begging Sister Klava:
"Show me please what I’ve become."
My right neighbour, the cadaver,
Would have told me what they’ve done.