hat woman's a complex issue,
A pretty perplexing phenomenon
Is a truth that will sometimes miss you,
Although it's rather a common one.
Her power stays a secret unravelled,
Pooh-poohed at, to put it lightly.
Yet so far, wherever I've travelled,
Woman rules us, almighty.
This nonsense about our leadership,
Our pumped-up male domination
Being our birthright, allegedly,
Is sheerest imagination.
Coyly or enigmatically
She bestows her smiles upon us,
Us, treading our way erratically
To her with our sorrows and honours.
The plainest and most bewildering,
The cheerfulest and the weariest-
For her we are always children,
Regardless of age or experience.
Dead-earnestly or trivially
We go about life's occupations,
While woman looks on forgivingly,
The image of wisdom and patience.
Whether quarrelling, grumbling or fretting,
Whatever life she be leading us,
Remembering or forgetting,
Woman deserves our obedience.
Woman gives hope to the desperate,
Mocks at our doubts and uncertainty,
Pours the balm of her tenderness
On masculine scars, wounds, et ceterae.
Then, after she's doctored and dressed us,
She uses heart-break to test us.
Miсhail Lukonin (1928-1976), Russia.
Translated by Dorian Rottenberg.