Yes, today I am on a roll, no two ways about it - The Moscow crowd is bursting with delight, - I calmly intercept the passess And sweep up the dead balls. Now the referee assigns a penalty to the other side - The reporters are swarming in a cloud at those gates. Only one is determined to be bored behind my back - He will rest superbly today! Sorry, now they’re heading them to me... I make contact - they pass with a corner kick. The number ten takes it - it’s a chance for him to break the zero draw by a “dry leaf” of his own. The ball is in my hands - the stands are going mad, - Only the number ten neatly swerved. Such things have not happened to me for a long time! ... Only behind someone quietly suddenly sighed. I turned round - I hear a voice behind the cameras: “Sorry, my friend, but you’ve ruined my shot. What is it to you - what a pointless time to put your hands to the ball - But I would have captured a fine goal”. I wanted to tell him where to go - that’s not how it went: I barely managed to catch the ball. Then I’d only just managed to pick myself up, When I hear once more “Not again! If you catch and stop them all - I won’t get even one!” “My dear comrade, I understand all that, But I ask you in a civilized manner: just leave me alone! Yes, it would suit you better if I played worse But trust me - It’s not in my power to help you”. Now the number ten lets fly like a cannon - The reporter babbles: “Listen, let him score! I’ll film your whole family for nothing for life...” The guy is almost crying. What am I to do? “That’s football”, I say, “Every goal’s a knife Through a goalkeeper’s heart”. “Let me make a gift to you as goalkeeper Of my best shot - Miss, and I’ll bless you!” I bend like a twig before the pressure of the reporter. Hesitantly I step up to intercept... Under my breath, I beg my team-mates To smash his camera for him. But on he whimpers, “My friend, this is inhumane - Of course you could take2 this one, but, if you’ll forgive me, It’s just a moment, but a photograph is eternal. Please, not a single move, tear yourself away!” Number five at twenty two3 Is famous. He isn’t running, barely even Tripping along. Into the right-hand corner4, the ball, ringing - That is, on my left - Makes landfall and impudently lies there. In this half, we were playing against the wind, So that I couldn’t bring anything off... I’ve got a snap at home - two by three metres - As a witness to my shame. I curse the moment when I obliged the photographer, You see now I think, when I stop the balls, How many beautiful photos have been ruined by me! Shame racks me, even cries. Tempter-serpent, executioner! How am I to live?! As every ball tugs To be let through. I struggle with myself every match It’s clear this is my fate... Hold on, here comes a corner.
© ?. Translation, 2021