What a former life! - And above and below - you go without a convoy, - You smoke Plan, you go for a haul And fleece passengers. And at a robbery you take with you A reliable accomplice, Then you pick someoneís pocket And make off quietly. Until we are followed, until we are threatened We endure this. Youíve lived well, but then beckoned "Petrovka, thirty-eight". I went through childrenís home, prison, shelter and I didnít fear penitentiary, When I was brought before the peopleís court, I was a bit excited Why lie to us about the "Peopleís court"! - I didnít see any people, The judge means freedom and the public prosecutor Offended me at once. I answered the questions, But judgement was given with scorn, - And I did not agree in the least With such a formulation! I do not deny my guilt - I didnít time only once But it was described that I treated people roughly. Thatís not true! - You approach quietly and ask for a hundred rubles... Whatís that to do with a knife, whatís that to do with robbery? Modify the formulation! Oh, had been in the hall - When I spoke: "Comrades of the people! Why make reproaches - Youíve after all fed me and gave me to drink! Everybody gave me money whithout tears, threats and blood... Iím awfully thankful to you for all the good words!" And in that hall there would be applauded stamdingly And I would interrupt sobbing Telling them in a low voice: "Thank you for the attention! Itís true - isnít it, That I am a quick robber? How could I look into peopleís eyes With such a formulation?!
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018