By Kaciaryna Andrejeva
Translation: Hanna Komar, John Farndon
Over the white lea,
The winter’s chill sea,
In silence
And amid my cares,
Over my happiness
And my pain, yes,
As the months pass
And the years,
It flies, it quivers
And, ineffable, shimmers,
Shining black in the sky
Of my nativity –
My single, solitary,
Soundless company,
My one and only
Star of destiny.
I pray to it,
I’m scared of it.
I try to avoid it
The time will come when
I will stop and then
Under its starry gaze
Sleep forever.
And whenever I stray
On paths faraway
Where beasts left
Tracks in the snow
I am scared no longer,
Amused no longer –
No more trouble
No more woe.
The songs around
Have lost their sound
And instead of songs:
The crunch of spines.
In my beloved country.
Before spring comes finally,
Through my prison bars
You still shine.

My love, eternal, until the end
Look: my wounds are healing already
My quiet one, who fate gifted to me
I’m wearing your ring like a diadem.

Life caressed me, then it beat me
Bathed me in sun, then threw me behind bars
And you can see these fading scars
The pain lessens, dear, gradually.

The walls grow thick; they’re pressing on me.
I cannot see the dawn’s new glow
But don’t be afraid – our love will, I know,
Survive the time and ourselves surely.

Just hold my hand firmly palm to palm
Through the labyrinths of incarceration
My only medicine, my sole consolation
My world, my home, my lasting calm.