‘When Mikhalich found out…’ (Marina Boroditskaya)

When Mikhalich found out that he had
a summons to go to court
that son of his acted as he should
his wife too as she ought.

And loudly wept his grand-daughter
Angelica by name
but softly wept old Vlasova
a woman of no fame.

When in the court Mikhalich stood
they let him off scot-free
like a boy, his pranks, they said
were triviality.

Then grandad picked Mikhalich up
in cardigan attired
Help me–says he–a little, eh?
that key is once more mired.

He lightly filed the blunted key
and stuck it in aright
and sees–beyond the gates oh yes
there is a pond so bright

a boat that has a bottom flat
a wood with trees so tall
a sky that has been swept so clean
a meadow bright in colours all.

The oldster who was quick in mind
offered him his hand
Well bye-bye, do drop in
to relieve our life so bland.

And Mikhalich down from off the slide
came towards the shore
–I’m coming–he said–and quickly too
but I must fix the door.

[Revised following a helpful comment from XIX век.]

Как пришла Михалычу
в суд повестка,
снаряжали сын его
да невестка.

В голос внучка плакала,
Анжелика,
и тихонько – Власова,
бобылиха.

А в суде Михалыча
отпустили,
как мальцу, все шалости
вмиг простили.

Вышел дед к Михалычу
в кофте белой:
– Пособи, – грит, – малость, а?
ключ заело.

Подточил бородку он,
вставил ключик,
видит – за воротами
пруд блескучий,

лодка плоскодонная,
лес нечастый,
небо подметённое,
луг цветастый.

Старичок догадливый
подал руку:
– Ну бывай, заглядывай,
скрасим скуку.

И Михалыч с горочки
двинул к пляжу,
– Буду, – молвил, – вскорости,
петли смажу.

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2 Responses to “‘When Mikhalich found out…’ (Marina Boroditskaya)”

  1. xixvek Says:

    I read the English first and wasn’t sure what to make of “grit,” but after seeing the Russian, I think it’s probably грит in place of говорит (simulating fast/colloquial speech). Thanks for posting all these poems!

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