Alena Podobed

The Water Cycle

The tears of retreating March
turn roads into jelly.
The last surviving snow hides in the ravine
like a bad student under the desk.
The real warmth will come and smoke it out.
As thawed water,
it will learn again
how the water cycle works.

A gate will creak, and an old guy will crawl out,
luckily without pinching anything vital.
Then he, slow and three-legged, will flow,
to where bird songs are heard.

To the nearest meadow, or to the river,
Which has drowned in the flood of coltsfoot,
and bring his woman a big bunch.
Her heart will soften up, and she will cry.

She’ll put some lard and a loaf of bread on the table.
And also some moonshine she’s been squirreling in the cellar.
And then she’ll say, “Fill the cups, my love!
We’ve survived the winter yet again!”

Translated from the Russian by Sergey Gerasimov. 

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