Poetry by Liana Margiva
The drifter was taken to the gallows…
The people were rejoicing everywhere,
But poor heart of mine was mourning
And, for an instant, our souls were one.
It was I, who stepped into the Chamber of Death,
Hands tied behind my back
To touch the fallen tear unable.
It was I, who had a scarf wrapped around my neck
To ease the pain of strangulation.
It was I, who was facing the loop of the rope,
My last window on the world I was leaving.
It was my eyes that were blindfolded
So that no one could see my tears.
It was my soul that was trembling,
Silently begging for mercy.
It was I who stepped on the trap door
And into the bottomless abyss,
The never-ending fall.
I knew with my mind that a felon
Was being brought to justice,
But my eyes refused to comply with reason,
Shedding tears for the loathesome creature.
Tonight he will rest in the grave.
Soggy soil as his mattress and pillow,
And a coffin lid as his blanket.
Tomorrow morning he will not awaken
For the first time in his miserable life.
Death will cure his ailments,
The pain will pass, left above the grave
Together with love, sorrow and doubts.
Tonight his soul will tremble
For the first time facing the ones he slaughtered.
His lifeless skin will shiver
At the sight of innumerable victims
Gathered to judge him.
Countless moans will fill the air,
Reverberating through the underworld
‘’Why did you torture and murder us?
For what greater purpose we suffered?’’
The martyrs will cry out.
From this night on he will be condemned to solitude,
His universe shrunk to the space of the coffin.
Death will pardon his offences,
The grave will console him with peace,
And the Earth will be merciful too,
By not weighing too heavy on the diseased.
(Translated from Russian by Anatol V. Kardiukov)
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