Before leaving to another country You fill out a million applications, Well, the worst is yet to come. And in the staff of delegations There is a face in a civilian uniform, Going with you. And a month before leaving, You are given some instructions, On how to spend your days. No indecencies or parties, And political connections - No way! A face in civilian uniform Was introduced to me in Paris: "Iíll be living with you. Nameís Nicodemus. I worked in the shipment, lived in Bobruisk, Father is Russian, I am Russian, I was never tried". He carried out his duties, And maintained his secrecy, And tried to help me in everything. And he followed me everywhere, Watched my every move, you know - Day and night. So, I decided to tour Rome Without the help of Nicodemus. He wrote all night and fell asleep, But later I found out That boxing was his hobby - So I didnít risk. He had breakfasts and dinners with me, And always watched me in a crowd, As though he had nothing else to do. So one day I sneaked into his room, Took a look into his journal - I was shocked. He wrote (what a bastard!) That on a street in Pans I attacked the Mayor with fists, That Iím hungry for then- women, And get influenced too much By the wicked West. What does that mean? They can even Suspect me in spying. Just imagine my life then! That means I will never see Either Rome or Paris - For as long as I live.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991