I lived in my ma and pas flat In the Arbat, lucky me! Now Im swaddled in a bed thats In the field infirmary. What of fighting on the right side, Worldly cares, Klava the nurse? Now my neighbour on the rights died; On my left hes getting worse. Then one day all of a fever That guy in the left-hand bed Burst out saying: "Listen, geezer, Did you know youve lost your leg?" Was he joking? Have I heard wrong? Come on, mates, it cant be so. I was promised by the surgeon: "Well 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 Hed still talk about my leg. Hed say, mocking: "You wont get up, Bet your wife finds someone else." Comrade, if you ever let up Take a good look at yourself. If I wasnt such a wreck and I could get down off this bed, Then Id strangle in a second That damn neighbour on my left. Ive been begging Sister Klava: "Show me please what Ive become." My right neighbour, the cadaver, Would have told me what theyve done.
Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008