He was led to be hanged.
to write this scene?
Was it winter? Summer?
From behind the fence
across the street
his mother watched. What should I call her?
Let’s say, Antanina.
And he is Maxim.
Why Maxim, and not Basil or Yanak?
The stones tucked themselves under his feet,
two magpies stalked him,
poplar to poplar.
You’ve ever been hanged?
Me, never yet.
And that’s the problem. So are the magpies.
Why should there be two, not one?
The gutters silver
with spring waters.
So was it spring? Alright. By the courthouse,
gray soldiers, lined up in a row.
In the park — ladies. And ladies’ men.
And where’s mother? “It’s best without her,”
Do change her name.
with sides already dropped —
above it — a noose.
Above a noose —
Who’s sitting at the wheel? His brother? Son?
No, a son is pushing it. A brother then.
And from behind the curtain in a palace next to the courthouse
she watches. Marysya? Alright, Marysya.
Those magpies. Soldiers. Water. Park.
That cloud again.
And glances from the crowd. “It’s him ...
Not you ... Not me ... For that, thank God ... ”
Will he hear the bells?
Behind Marysya stands the one who shares her bed.
With blazing epaulets. And profile. And a hand
around her waist.
A river embraces
the park. A river jammed with ice.
Life blazes, rings.
To sum it up, considering all mentioned:
“He was led to be hanged.”
Translated from the Belarusian