Drink my soul, as if with a straw
I know it's bitter, intoxicating taste.
I won't disturb the torment with pleading,
Oh, for weeks now I've been at peace.
Tell me, when you're done. No sadness,
That my soul's no more of this world.
I'll walk down that road nearby
And see how children play.
The gooseberries are in flower,
And they're carting bricks by the fence,
Who are you, my brother, my lover,
I don't know now, or need to know.
How bright it is here, and bare,
My body, tired, rests…
The passers-by thinking vaguely:
Yes, she was widowed yesterday.
Akhmatova's poem is featured in our guide to Russian Writers.