Dmitry Raskin. “They read names…”

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Dmitry Raskin. "They read names..."

Early in the morning, they read from a piece of paper,

From morning till night.

Old men read, students read,

They read by the Solovetsky stone,

They read by countless cemeteries,

And by countless ravines of this swollen, forgetful homeland;

They read names in Rome,

They read them in Paris,

And in Jerusalem,

In Berlin, in Toronto…

Surname, first name, patronymic, profession, age —

          shot, shot, shot.

Skvortsov, Nigmatulin, Ginsburg,

watchman, worker, doctor,

sixty years old, twenty-five, forty-nine —

          shot, shot, shot.

Feoktistov, Usvyatskaya, Haikin,

engineer, saleswoman, professor.

thirty-four years old, nineteen, forty —

          shot, shot, shot.

Lerner, Safonov, Smirnov,

cashier, nobleman, peasant,

fifty-two, sixty-three, thirty-five…

A stooge pontificates from the pulpit:

“This was done for the great Goal, for the great Power of our Homeland, for the sake of the great Power.”

Two buddies talk, sigh:

“Pity the people, of course, but the sausage was cheap.”

As for the registry of “foreign agents” — some will just shrug it off, it’s not their problem,

others will say there is no smoke without fire and not everything is so straighforward.

They read, from morning till evening:

Surname, first name, fate —

          shot, shot, shot…


Translated from Russian

About the Author:

1. Пхото.
Dmitry Raskin
born in Nizhny Novgorod

Dmitry Raskin (born in 1965) is a poet, writer, and playwright. Raskin has authored several books of intellectual prose, including novels “Chronicles of Paradise” (2013) and “Boris Superfin” (2017); the latter won the International Competition Best Book of the Year 2020 (Germany). He has also authored a number of science fiction works, e.g. “Masquerade of Worlds,” “Destiny and Other Attractions,” and two poetry collections. For Raskin, free verse is a way of thinking as well as a way of living.

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