‘A string of little beads at my neck,’

by Anna Akhmatova

A string of little beads at my neck,
In a broad muff I hide my hands,
The eyes stare vacantly,
They never shed a tear.

And the face appears pale,
Against the lavender silk,
My straight bangs
Almost reach my eyebrows.

And how dissimilar to flight
Is my halting step,
As if it were a raft beneath my feet,
Not these wooden parquet squares.

And the pale lips are slightly parted,
The breathing laboured and uneven,
And over my heart tremble
The flowers of a non-existent meeting.