Daybreak

Daybreak

You meant everything in my destiny.
Then came the war, the disaster.
For a long, long time,
No trace, no news of you.
After all these years,
Again your voice has disturbed me.
All night I read your testament.
It was like reviving from a faint.
I want to be among people,
In a crowd, in its morning bustle.
I’m ready to smash everything to
splinters
And bring them to their knees.
And I run down the stairs
As though coming out for the first time
Into these snowy streets
With their deserted pavements.
All around are lights, homeliness,
people getting up,
Drinking tea, hurrying to the trams.
In the space of several minutes
The town is unrecognizable.
The blizzard weaves a net
Of thickly falling snow across the gate.
They all scurry out to be on time,
Leaving their food half eaten, their tea
unfinished.
I feel for each of them
As if I were in their skin,
I melt with the melting snow,
I frown with the morning.
In me are people without names,
Children, stay-at-homes, trees.
I am conquered by them all
And this is my only victory.

Boris Pasternak, from With Healing on its Wings (Masorti Publications)