Dedicated to Nikolai Skomorohov, and to his fallen friend
Through the war till the ending I yearned for my home town
And though I was hotheaded, did my duty as called.
While he was too hasty, one time didnít duck down -
And in war turned around, around - two war years, and nothing at all.
And his heart isnít beating
since that spring, Ďforty-three,
While dreams war sent fleeting
once again circle me,
And I canít breathe, reminded,
and dark clouds dim my sight -
He was better and kinder...
I was lucky that night.
Silver spoons Iíve not tasted, I ainít one of Godís choosing,
I did not seek the rear, and I met fateís attack.
But the women I met with would look silent, accusing,
"If you had stayed forever back there, perhaps mine wouldíve come back."
I am sadly aware
of what widows donít say.
I too care that their lives
did not turn that way.
And I blurted, "Forgive me,
sorry I made it through,
Accidentally Iím living,
Doing what yours couldnít do."
In his plane he was burning, and I heard his last shout,
"You will live, you will make it!" came through that roaring glow.
We would fly up by heaven, by Godís own kingdom cloud,
He stayed there when he flew a bit higher... while I came down below.
And Godís airfield dryly
met the pilot they called.
He would land on his belly,
on it he never crawled...
So he slept without waking,
and his song couldnít end.
So Iím back, I did make it...
It was too late for my friend.
All around and forever I will always be wronging
Those whom if I met now, Iíd be honoured to call.
Though we fly home still living, to where our hearts were longing -
But our memory burns and our conscience torments us, all those who have it at all.
Someone stingy and clear
counted hours we mete
In our short stay down here,
like airstrip concrete.
On it some crashed and burned,
and some flew never to land,
While I, I returned, I returned and...
Thatís the trouble, if you understand.