I lived with mother and father On the Arbat - if it were always so. And now I am in a hospital In the bed, all in bandages. What is for us glory, what is for us Klava - The nurse and bright light? My neighbour on the right died, The one, who is on the left - not yet. And once - like carbon monoxide fumes - That neighbour, who is on the left, Told me suddenly: - Now listen, buddy, You have a leg less. How come! Thatís not true brother! He, probably, joked? - We only cut off toes, - So the doctor told me. But the neighbour, who is on the left, Smiled all the time, joked all the time. Even if nightly he was delirious - He spoke about the leg. Mockingly he said: You will not get up! You wonít see, he said, your wife! If you only could, comrade, See yourself from the side. If I were not a cripple And could get down from the bed, Iíd the one, who is to the left, Simply bite through the throat! I implored nursie Klava To show me what happened to me. If the neighbour, who was on the left, were alive, - He would tell me the truth...
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018