Songs in the Forest — Part IV

Fyodor laid out his coffee carafe and kulich* on the folded military blanket, near the rock where he’d been before.  He poured himself a cup and opened his notebook.  He found the Pushkin poem he’d adapted to Ninilchik.  He began to read aloud and his thoughts wandered.


If I walk among the noisy streets…
I say to myself, the years are fleeting
And however many there seem to be
We must all go under the eternal vault
Someone’s hour is already at hand

When I look at a solitary oak
I think, the patriarch of the woods
It will outlive my forgotten age
As it outlived that of my grandfathers’

Fyodor’s voice reached Annushka.  Captivated by the familiarity of his words, she silently approached and hid among the old growth trees.

Every day, every hour
I follow in my thoughts
Trying to guess from their number
The year which brings my death

And where will fate send death to me?
In battle, in my travels, or on the seas?
Or will the neighboring valley
Receive my chilled ashes?

Fyodor paused.  He sipped some coffee, now lukewarm.  Tears welled in Annushka’s eyes.

And although to the senseless body
It is indifferent wherever it rots
Yet close to my beloved countryside
I still would prefer to rest

And let it be, beside the grave’s vault
That young life forever will be playing
And impartial, indifferent nature
Eternally will be shining in beauty

Annushka leaned against the tree — motionless — overcome by an avalanche of memories.

His own thoughts rustling through the trees, Fyodor sat for several minutes.  He finished his kulich and coffee, then slowly rose and packed up his blanket and carafe.  He carefully placed the lunch he’d made for her on the rock.  Then, he turned toward the rising sun and set off for work.

Annushka stepped into a clearing to watch him, but he did not turn back.

[“Thoughts,” by Alexander Pushkin (in italics).  Translated to English by G.R. Ledger, August 2009.]

*Kulich is a type of Russian bread, traditionally made for Easter meals.  It’s lightly sweet and similar to brioche.




8 thoughts on “Songs in the Forest — Part IV

    1. Thank you, Pepperanne! I appreciate your kind words and encouragement, especially since I’m not sure where this story is headed from one installment to another. I’m so glad this one resonated.
      Thanks again and you as well — enjoy the weekend! 🙂
      – D

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Bringing Annushka her lunch was a nice gesture by Fyodor, Danica. 🙂
    Hi, did you stop by to see your brilliant orange flowers and have a few new visitors? Some commenters said they would come check your posts out. ♡
    I finally put your name on my post thanking fir a nomination. Just hope you will see how pretty it is, almost as shiny and sweet as you are! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Robin! I also liked that he brought her lunch. 🙂
      Thank you also for the special post! I can’t believe I almost missed it…something must be wrong with my notifications. I really appreciate the sentiment and I’ll be on the lookout for new visitors. Has anyone told you today that you’re wonderful? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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