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Vadim Shefner


The Things

When an owner’s dead, all his things calmly stay in his house,
They’re indifferent, things, to our woes and, simply, to us.
In the time, you’re dying, even cups do not break or just bounce,
And don’t thaw, like icicles, sets of a shining wineglass.

Maybe, just for the things, it is senseless to sweat and strive out, --
Thus, to orders of men, glasses hurry to meet any face,
And indifferent chairs are assembled in the mute idlers’ crowd,
And the fine legs of tables would not stir a bit from their place.

For the reason that you, from the world of the things, was excluded,
The electrical meter wouldn’t throw itself in reverse,
Telephones wouldn’t die, and the films in cassettes wouldn’t be ruined, 
And the freezer wouldn’t sob, going after a coffin of yours.

Always be their God, never lay on their ‘sanctified’ stone,
Always be their boss, which is fair and impassive to staff –   
He, who’d lived for the things, with last breath, looses all he had owned, 
He, who’d lived for the men, after death, lives with them in their life.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, April, 2001

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