In Memory of My Neighbour the Little Leningrad Boy, Valya Smirnov
Knock with your small fist — I will
Open the door now as I always did.
Now I am far beyond a lofty hill,
And beyond desert and wind and heat, am hid,
But never, never will I let you down.
I did not hear you groan;
You did not come to me and ask for bread.
Bring me a sprig of maple-leaf instead,
Or simply several green blades of grass
Like those you brought to me in springtime last;
Bring me, cupped in your little palm,
Some pure, cool water from our own Neva,
And, from your little golden head,
I shall wash away the trace of blood.