In the Alley

Ilya Ehrenburg
In the Alley

An alley. The snow crunches underfoot. They walk, locked in embrace.
Shots ring out. It matters little to them.
They kiss, and the two little clouds that hang around their quivering lips,
Merge into one.
Death angrily lurks,
There it is! Around the corner! Right there! Close at hand!
Nevertheless, the hapless individual embraces the girl he adores,
And utters such strange words to her:
“My darling! My beloved!”
Shots ring out. They tighten their hold on each other.
What kind of obstacle do our barricades pose to Death?
Yet even it cannot manage,
To pull apart these weak hands!
Oh God! It is impossible to find flowers in winter,
Not even the tiniest blade of grass can be unearthed,
And yet here people can love so passionately,
Before Death’s eyes.
Perhaps, in a moment, they will lose their balance,
As though they were slipping on ice,
Yet nonetheless, embracing each other with such tenderness.
They will come to You.
Maybe, during these days, we simply need to pray,
Simply need to weep silently…
Lord, what would You,
Not pardon lovers?

December 1917, Moscow

-Ilya Ehrenburg (Translated by me)


One Response to “In the Alley”

  1. Wow, this a poignant, bittesweet romantic piece. It’s great!

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