by Sasha Krugosvetov
At the Park Gate

John Atkinson Grimshaw, “At the Park Gate” (1878)

On gloomy autumn evenings,
When on the deserted streets
Under a dark stormy sky
You will not meet a soul in this town,
With the hood pulled over Her head,
She runs past

None of the people have seen
But if someone glanced
Where Her face should be under the hood,
They would see only

Her hand holds a staff.
But if someone lifted
The sleeve on this arm,
They would see only

The lonely cloak floats
Over the broken pavement.
Under the dusty cloak, there is

The sandals, old and gray ones,
Which run as if by themselves,
Rustle and shuffle, leaving in the dust
Especially long

Being busy with their things,
People do not notice
How She flashes in Her dark clothes under
The windows.

Only then, having found
The especially long footprints,
They whisper to one another in fright:
“Did you see that? Did you?
The footprints!
The one who passed here was She.
Woe to us!”

Translated from Russian by Maxim Sviridenkov.

About the author

Sasha Krugosvetov

Sasha Krugosvetov is the pen name of Lev Lapkin, a Russian writer and scientist. Born in 1941, he worked in science research and began to write fiction in the early 2010s. For his books, he was awarded several prizes at the International Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, “RosCon” (including 2014 Alisa Award for the best children’s fantasy book, 2015 Silver RosCon Award for the best short story book and 2019 Gold RosCon Award for the best novel), the International Adam Mickiewicz Medal (Moscow/Warsaw, 2015) and other prestigious Russian literary awards. He lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

© The Evening Universe, 2022-2024. All Rights Reserved.