Lucky me that the engines kept humming so loudly; I was left by myself, one on one with my shame - Iíd forgotten my rifle was not fastened soundly, And did not promptly exit the plane. My instructor was quick to deliver a kick To my lazy and cowardly rear. He was mumbling the usual, "Donít be such a chick", - So I guessed, though I couldnít quite hear. My cheeks are hotly blazing, The rushing wind outroars me. And, like an ice-cold razor, The air-streams rise towards me. As, silently, Iím screaming, The dreadful noise escorts me. Cavorting and careening, The air-streams race towards me. Itís as if Iíve been grabbed by a skillful magician. Now, the air-streams - not I - have control of my limbs; And I gladly assume every crazy position, And obey every one of their whims. Is there any good reason Iím plunging through space? Maybe later, it might become clear. But, for now, the horizon stares right in my face, While the clouds seem to scatter in fear. My cheeks are hotly blazing, The rushing wind outroars me. And, like an ice-cold razor, The air-streams rise towards me. Iím having trouble breathing; The dreadful noise escorts me. Advancing and receding, The air-streams race towards me.                                
                               
From the heights of the stratosphere, down into nowhere - I was inside the airplane, and then I was gone; I walked up to the edge, and I blindly stepped over, To the free-fall I said, "Bring it on!" I will break through this lightless and smothering gauze, With my parachute yet undeployed. But one canít really call this a "free-fall", because What Iím falling through isnít a void! My cheeks are hotly blazing, The rushing wind outroars me. And, like an ice-cold razor, The air-streams rise towards me. My eyes are almost bleeding; The dreadful noise escorts me. Eternal and unfeeling, The air-streams race towards me. And the wind whispers glibly, "Do nothing, donít worry, Wait a bit - and youíll softly descend from the skies." Only three hundred meters are left, I must hurry, For the windís surely telling me lies! So I pull on the ring, and get tugged by the straps, And the previous few minutes are moot. There may be no such thing as a free-fall, perhaps - But Iím still free to open my íchute! My cheeks are nicely cooling; My eyes can open wider; The air-streams, now, feel soothing, As I gaze sadly skyward. The lonely stars up there seem To quietly ignore me, As I drink in the air-streams That slowly rise towards me.
© Serge Elnitsky. Translation, 2006