My Pavlysh (Pavoloch)

My Pavlysh (Pavoloch)

By Richard Morris Usatinsky

In a hollow valley,

On hallowed soil,

In a little stone house

Swept neat and tidy by a little straw broom,

A baby is born in my Pavlysh.

Restless birds

Sing at the dawn of life.

A child,

Sucks in vain on a crust of bread,

On his mother's withered bosom.

Dust rises from the earth,

In my Pavlysh.

Old men take the sun, smoking what they've rolled.

Tired women hang themselves out on the lines.

This, too, is my Pavlysh.

In my Pavlysh people sing and people dance.

There is dirt on the old men's shoes.

The women laugh so hard, so hard they cry.

Everyone stinks of celebration --

In my Pavlysh.

And sons of fathers go off to big cities.

They go off and they never return.

Sons of mothers who shall win great bounties.

But the fathers know what the mothers know not --

Their sons will never return to their Pavlysh.

An old man dies beside a dung heap,

An old man, a pious man,

On his way to a better place.

No cold dwellings, no damp shirt or fraying talis.

His body will freeze with the night and thaw with the dawn.

There is death, too, in my Pavylsh.

But with every death comes a new life,

And a baby is born in my Pavlysh.

And like the restless birds

That sing at the dawn of life,

A baby sings out in the silence of a new day.

And when he is grown to be fine man,

A fine man of Pavlysh he will be.

He will leave the place where he was born,

He will go forth out into the world with his dreams,

And he will remember

My Pavlysh.