No, I’m Not Afraid by Irina Ratushinskaya, translated by David McDuff

No, I’m Not Afraid by Irina Ratushinskaya, translated by David McDuff

 

No, I’m not afraid: after a year

Of breathing these prison nights

I will survive into the sadness

To name which I escape.

 

The cockerel will weep freedom for me

And here- knee-deep in mire-

My gardens shed their water

And the northern air blows in draughts.

 

And how am I to carry to an alien planet

What are almost tears, as though towards home…

It isn’t true, I am afraid, my darling!

But make it look as though you haven’t noticed.