|From the book Stellae and Inscriptions|
To Nina Braginskaya
who has studied antique epitaphs, and much else, insightfully
|A Boy, an Old Man, and a Dog|
|A boy, an old man, and a dog. Perhaps it’s the grave of |
a crone or a woman.
How can we know
what a person’s reflection will be when looking into the watery deep
that’s alabaster smooth?
It could be like this:
A boy, a dog, an old man.
The boy is especially sad.
– I’ve done wrong, Dad, but I’ll never be able to right it.
– Well, – the old man says, – I forgive you but you will not hear.
It’s nice here.
– It’s nice here?..
– It’s nice here?.. –
an echo is heard
in the hallways.
– So you called and I came.
Hi, Dad. They redid the bedrooms at home,
Mama is pining. – My son, my late, my only, listen to me,
I’m speaking in parting: to nobility always adhere,
It’s the best that the living can do...
– Mama told me to say ...
– You will be happy.
– That’s hard to take.
– What can you do,
that’s how it is with us.
In silence the dog is observing
The talk: the eyes of that white water,
Of that picture –
«A boy, a dog, an old man».
| ||A Boy, an Old Man, and a Dog|