Thirty minutes to fighting. Once again to face panzers, Once again hear a shelling reprise. And a common young soldier Has received correspondence: A triangular envelope, small by the size. You will find yourself panting, If you see your bride’s writing, Or a note from your mother and dad. Someone tried to do better, And they rushed with this letter To deliver to him before fight. It begun with a sentence: "Please forgive for my silence. I stopped waiting for you." That was all. There was also a postscript: "I am leaving our district; You take time with your fighting and forgive, if it hurts." With the first shell explosion He cried out with emotion: "Mailman, what have you carried to me?! With a minute to dying, Your triangular mailing Is a gunshot wound I have received." He stepped out of the trenches, Held his rifle with tension, He ignored the shell fragments’ steel spray. In the fight for the Sura1 He hugged earth prematurely, Only wind scattered bits of the letter away.
1 A river in Ukraine, a tributary of Dnieper.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2020