by Mariana Tsvetayeva

Longing for the motherland!
A mystery I demystified long ago!
Is it totally the same to me—
Where I am—totally alone.

Along which stones I drag myself,
With my shopping bag, home.
A house unaware of who I am,
Like some hospital or barrack.

It’s all the same whom I defy
As I bristle like a caged lion,
From which coterie of men
I’m expelled—without fail—

Back to myself, my own identity.
A polar bear with no floe.
Where not to strive at companionship (I don’t try),
Where to lose self-respect—makes no difference.

Neither am I lured by my native
Tongue, it’s nursing call.
I do not care if I’m greeted
Or greet with unintelligible words!

(That reader gorging himself with tons
Of paper, news-scandalmonger)
He is a man of this age,
As for me—I stand pre-every age.

Stunned, like a tree stump
Bereft of the alley its stood on.
People—I don’t care about, things—I don’t care,
And maybe even less care

About what ever came with my birth:
Peculiarities, traits, features,
Data—all wiped out as if by a hand:
My soul being born—somewhere.

My land won’t preserve me.
So that even the keenest detective
Searching far and wide through my soul
Will not find a birthmark!

Each home is alien to me, each shrine empty,
All things—all the same, all things—make no difference.
But if along the road a bush
Stands, especially a rowan…

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