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Yaroslav Smelyakov

YAROSLAV SMELYAKOV: "If I'm Suddenly Sick"

"If I'm Suddenly Sick"

If I’m suddenly sick, 
I’ll refuse to appeal to the doctors.
I’ll appeal to my friends
(don’t think I’m in a fit, so far):
give me steppe for my bed,
take a mist for my windows’ curtains,
put behind my bed’s head, as a candle, the heavenly star.

I did stride right through all,
never was called a thin-skinned person.
If I’m fatally wounded 
in the rightful and merciless fight,
bandage my bleeding head 
with the road of mountains, blessed,
and put over my body the blanket of fall roses’ light.

Take away pills and drops.
Let the rays gaily shine in my glasses.  
I will never take care
of the usual medicine else:
the hot winds of the sands,
silver foam that waterfall rises –
only they to restore my severely broken health.

From these seas and high-lands
spreads such freshness of ages around,
look at them and you’ll feel:
we are here forever to stay.
Not with boxes for pills,
is my road bespeckled – with white clouds.
And I go from you not by hospital – by Milky Way.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2001

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