I wish for a cloud or a storm During that year on my horizon. But I once met a fellow traveler, I will talk about him, so get acquainted. He asked me: "Where to? To Vologda? Well, to Vologda-itís half of grief". My trunk is full of bottles of vodka, So, I suggested as usual - "Maybe we can drink to our acquaintance. See who is a better drinker." He said: "We get off at Vologda, And Vologda-itís in the North". I canít remember which one of us drank the most. I recall, that he kept on filling my glass. My tongue untied itself like a lace, I cursed somebody, bewailed someone. And I woke up in the city Vologda, But kill me - I donít remember where. And then I was accused of some treason, I was introduced to a penal code. They calmed me down-everythingís in place, I was given time in a harsh penitentiary.     Theyíre giving me the fifty eighth article1, Saying: "Donít worry, youíre young." If Iíd have known whom I drank vodka with, He would have never reached Vologda.     Soon the years erased all the insults, But now I live as though in handcuffs - Oh, how badly I wish to meet him - That squealer - the fellow traveler. But he lives in a city Vologda, While I live in the North-God knows where.
1 An article in a Soviet penal code signifying a harsh penalty for an accused.
 
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991