In Memory of V. C. Sreznevskaya

Impossible almost, for you were always here:
In the shade of blessed limes, in hospitals and
In the prison-cell, and where there were evil birds,
Lush grasses, and terrifying water.
How everything has changed, but you were always here,
And it seems to me that I have lost half my soul,
The half you were—in which I knew the reason why
Something important happened. Now I've forgotten . . .
But your clear voice is calling and it asks me not
To grieve, but wait for death as for a miracle.
What can I do! I'll try.

Komarovo, 9 September 1964

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