Ten kilometers to run and just one heat Remaining, Then we heard our famous marathoner Pete Complaining: "I am injured, I am sick, Iím feeling bad And low!" And my coach looked at me and firmly said: "You go!" Iím a sprinter, on this distance Iíll collapse, No doubt! I may run at best three bastard laps, And - out! But my coach made me run, he said to me, Not grinning: "You can make it, boy, if you reveal your will For winning!" Will, my ass! You must be strong to win in style! But I would dither, For ten thousand I rushed like for a mile And withered! Gasping mouth, goggled eyes, this goddam race, I cursed it! Made three laps and then fell down in disgrace, Exhausted! And my coach said I was the weakest link, Time-wasting! He forbade me to appear on the rink - Thatís nasty! When I drink with him it only creates Illusion That heís chummy, as he yells: "Instead of skates Go luging!" As a coach heís not bad, but as a friend Heís shifty; But today Iím doing lots of boxing and Weightlifting! I am certain, Iíll achieve a lot with this Approach! Everyoneís polite to me and so is The coach!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2016
Edited by Robert Titterton