First, I notice the font change to italics,
then my heart dives down to the abyss.
I see handsome skiers
shaking ice from their boots.
They are so ruddy, so gelid.
Suddenly it’s so cold and difficult to breathe
that the fibrous shadows of 45, Chernomorskaya Street
surface in my memory.
I used to gobble mulberries there,
to choke with laughter,
to align my toy cars…
But the skiers, their eyes as blue as ice,
repeat firmly “Let’s go! Come with us!”
In my mind, there’s a line of people with string bags.
I shoot water from a toy water gun again.
Where’s the You Are Welcome children’s park? I wonder.
Why is it so hard to breathe in?
Who’s brought home that red kitten?
Who ate halva before breakfast?
The skiers swish past so close,
so very close.
(translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)
Evgenia Jen Baranova, born Kherson, Ukraine, is a writer of poetry and literary prose. She graduated from Sevastopol National Technical University with a degree in Information Management Systems and Technologies in 2011. She was a finalist, prize-winner and laureate of a number of Russian-language literary contests. Baranova is the author of a book of poems, “Rybnoye Mesto” (“The Fishable Spot”).