While we were drinking as they came Some vodkas all with different names They called us to the face again - what do you know? We had a paragon shock worker and He mined more coal than any man And it was him now buried down below. A sub-lieutenant in the past, He showed us how to shovel fast And pioneer-like for each task he was prepared. He worked our pit straight from his ship To serve his country, do his bit, But now he’d made a great big mess of it down there. Then as we all went down the drift An ex-con known to be a risk Said: "Now we’ll all be in a fix, the lot of us. For if we free him then he’ll be Digging a quota meant for three To do his bit while you and me, we’ll just be stuffed. "So come on brothers, let’s not worry, We’ll take it slowly, we won’t hurry, Because it’s all for one, see, do or die." He served up Tallinn way in Stalin’s day, Now buried under rocks he lay - In human terms we’re sorry for the guy.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008