The Apocalypse


See the four kids flying fast,

Their faces turning yellow.

And all these four kids ask

Is to cease and settle.


The first of them is war,

He’s riddled with wounds.

The second lugs a sack of grain,

And even that’s in tatters.


The third kid is a crook,

Missing a hand, wielding a stick.

The fourth and last is slain,

He’s lying on the trash heap.


Spring 1943. Along Furmanov Street from the bazaar in the rain.


Translated by Charles Swank and Matvei Yankelevich. © and courtesy of Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016.