‘Our train was falling behind schedule…’ (Vladimir Vasil’ev)

Our train was falling behind schedule
At a junction it was shunted aside
And over a piled-high heap of gravel
An overhead crane spread clumsy legs wide.

A stopping train passed the opposite way
A goods train stood to load by a shed
The controllers then began the roll-call–
People each with a bucket on his head.

Out of boredom I studied the timetable
And I was thinking about how your keen poet
Will invariably apply his condition
To every subject he can get to show it.

The attendant began on some cleaning
Her rag crossed the glass in a flash
The crane started, its winch began bleating
And its bucket fell on gravel with a crash.

Over the gentle bare slopes
Wind scattered the old vapour trail
And a gipsy pushed her way through the carriages
With a thousand-year-horoscope to retail.

Поезд наш выбивался из графика
И на станции стал узловой,
Над высокою кучею гравия
Раскорячился кран козловой.

Электричка проехала встречная.
На погрузке стоял товарняк.
Завели перекличку диспетчеры —
Люди с ведрами на головах.

Я от скуки смотрел расписание,
Рассуждая о том, как поэт
Неизменно свое состояние
Переносит на каждый предмет.

Проводница уборку затеяла.
Завизжало под тряпкой стекло.
Кран поехал, лебедка заблеяла,
Ковш на гравий упал тяжело.

Над пологими лысыми склонами
Ветер дымный развеивал след.
И цыганка проперла вагонами
С гороскопом на тысячу лет.

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