Cranes (Translated from the Russian by George Rahal)

By -


It seems to me sometimes, that the soldiers who
From bloody fields did not return
Long ago, fell not to the earth, 
But had transformed into white cranes. 

Since ages past, they still fly overhead 
And lend to us their voices. 
Is that not why, so often and so sadly,
We fall silent, gazing at the sky? 

Flying, flying in a tired V
Flying through the mist as the day descends; 
And in that formation I see a small space— 
Perhaps that place is meant for me! 

The day will come when, with a flock of cranes, 
I will swim through the same gray fog
And from the sky, in bird-language, call 
To all of you who I left behind on earth.