All’s gone wrong, although nothing has changed here of late. Air and water, the sky and the lighting - They are all Just like always, except for my mate: He was shot down in yesterday’s fighting. I will now never know who was wrong, who was right In our arguments that went on nightly. Sad but true: I first missed him like hell this past night, After he was shot down in the fighting. He could never talk sense, never sang the right song, u iust smiled when I said something biting. He would not let me sleep, he got up with the sun And was shot down in yesterday’s fighting. I felt empty. It struck me: we’d both knocked about In all kinds of times - dull and exciting. It felt much like a fire had been blown out When they downed him in yesterday’s fighting. Spring is here, at long last, royal blue is the sky. I called out, without thinking, most likely: "Buddy, leave me the butt!" There’s no sound in reply. He was shot down in yesterday’s fighting. In an hour of trial, our dead will stand by us - Our dead, they’ll be ever our sentries. In the woods, as in water, are mirrored the skies, All around, tinted blue, quietly stand trees. There was plenty of room for us in the dugout, Even time flew for both of us lightly... I’m alone now, and I am beginning to doubt: Wasn’t I downed in yesterday’s fighting?
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990