They Didn’t Meet

They didn’t meet me, roamed,
On steps with  lanterns bright.
I entered quiet home
In murky, pail moonlight.
Under a lamp’s green halo,
With smile of kept in rage,
My friend said, “Cinderella,
Your voice is very strange…”
A cricket plays its fiddle;
A fire-place grew black.
Oh, someone took my little
White shoe as a keep-sake,
And gave me three carnations,
While casting dawn eyes –.
My sins for accusations,
You couldn’t be disguised.
And heart hates to believe in
The time, that’s close too,
When he will ask for women
To try on my white shoe.


Translated by Tanya Karshtedt, August 1996

Edited by Dmitry Karshted, August 1996

–         Anna Akhmatova