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Poetry

A Game

By Uladzimir Niakliaeu
Translated from Belarusian by Valzhyna Mort
I leaned, picked up the fire, and tossed it / from one hand to the other.

Before noon the sky grew dark and later
it fell on the road as black fire.

I leaned, picked up the fire, and tossed it
from one hand to the other.

The fire scorched my right hand,
and blackened the left.

So one hand asked the other:
Why are we tossing the fire?

And the other hand answered:
For the fun of it. Just a game.

© Uladzimir Niakliayeu. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Valzhyna Mort. All rights reserved.

English

Before noon the sky grew dark and later
it fell on the road as black fire.

I leaned, picked up the fire, and tossed it
from one hand to the other.

The fire scorched my right hand,
and blackened the left.

So one hand asked the other:
Why are we tossing the fire?

And the other hand answered:
For the fun of it. Just a game.

© Uladzimir Niakliayeu. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Valzhyna Mort. All rights reserved.

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