We were burned because of one misunderstanding: He was sent for robbery and I for killing Ksenya. I was in love with her, but we broke up soon, She screamed, that bitch, resisted me. And the civilian guards busted our chops, And now both of us are convicts: Convict Vassilyev, convict Petrov. There is no life in camps, there is darkness: Murderers, robbers, traitors around us, A terrible respect is given to us daily, A very strange inclination. But the authorities donít care why weíre here. To them we are only convicts: Convict Vassilyev, convict Petrov. So weíve decided - we want to escape, Otherwise all this can end very bad for us. Each day the criminals give us bloody noses, And the prisonís doctor wants to be our lover. Yes, we were planning our escape, but for now We are the same convicts: Convict Vassilyev, convict Petrov. For four long years we planned our escape, We saved about three tons of food for us, And even one very gentle killer Had given us his own casserole. And so we left the camp - hand in hand. Other inmates were clapping their hands to us: To convict Vassilyev, and convict Petrov. And we were like beggars, running through the tundra, We walked the paths, not the wide roads. Where were we headed? To Moscow, or to Mongolia? He didnít know, the bastard, and I especially. I proved to him that sunset is in the west. But it was too late - the guards caught up with us. Convict Vassilyev, convict Petrov. Then our campís colonel was told That the two big criminals were caught. For that he got money and two medals, While he happily punched our faces. After that the term had been increased, And so, again, we are the same convicts: Convict Vassilyev, convict Petrov.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991