Life for me hardly flowed like a magnificent river -
For there wasn't enough of peace and quiet, no never!
In a soldier's hard lot could mis be any time reckoned?...
Yes, there was such a minute! Yes, there was such a second!
In the trenches the minute before battle would claim you,
For a second life's beauty more than ever enflamed you.
Blade of grass on the breastwork, piercing lovely with life-thirst!
Oh, how lovely!... Then peace is ripped apart by a shell-burst!
There were shells, there were mines, but you and I were both spared.
And our love walked beside us-as the long road we shared.
If it did not then leave us, by all means it won't now,
At long last my poor heart can be at peace anyhow.
I'm at peace with you, dearest-so at peace with you, dearest,
As I was... in the trenches, when a battle was nearest.
Yulia Drunina (b. 1925).
Translated by Gladys Evans.