Juri Talvet - 1953

I walked to the back of the garden, where
on the roof of the shed built by their grandfather
our children sat, making faces for my camera.

Then I was in another town, on the threshold
of my childhood home. A candle dimly lit
the kitchen. There were two old men to whom I said:

“We have come to live here. I, my wife, two older
children, and a small child in a stroller.”
I don’t remember much else. My father and mother

sat on a sofa, so I climbed into their laps
and, laughing, we agreed to call English
“eng-eng” and French “franc-franc.”

In 1949 we had timidly tested the same kitchen door
of that house, Aia Street number 16. Someone
had been led away at night from the garden house.

Then we covered rooms in wallpaper, first pasting up
newspapers. I remember sticking a knife between the eyes
of a man with a mustache, who did die in 1953,

leaving Russian women to cry in the streets.