Sofia Lullaby

Sofia Lullaby

(for Maria Vassileva and Alexandra Genova)

She is sleeping
Baba Yaga is sleeping
under the mountain
her head on her longtime pillow
she sleeps in her longtime bed
under the mountain
Baba Yaga is asleep

Snow is falling
the snow falls on Sofia
the snow falls on Borisova Gradina
on its footpaths and on its trees
it gives white hair
crystal tears
to the stone heroes of Bulgaria
it embroiders the last taxis
kisses the last dancers
the last drinkers
the last lovers
while the last skateboarder in the world
lies down under the monument to the Soviet Army
his skateboard for a pillow
for his blanket the breath of Sofia

The snow falls on Centralna Gara
erasing the rail tracks –
nobody’s travelling tonight
the snow falls on Mladost
on Lozenets on
Gorna Banya
on the empty stalls of the Zhenski Pazar
and its ghosts of green peppers

On Reduta the snow is falling
on the sad trees
on the building sites
on the cranes
on the bulldozers and the JCBs
on the cement mixers and the parked lorries
the snow falls
on the nightwatchman’s caravan
bez svetlini
on the nightwatchman and his dog

Let our midnight
midnight owl rest its wing
let the beetle still its flight
let our dogs not stir
as the snow settles
on the roof of our house
like a blessing on Reduta

Let the snow-light filter
quiet quiet
into the sleep of my wife
into the sleep of the children
into the sleep of Baba Vitca downstairs
and like a blessing
into this room where I write this lullaby

Under the mountain
let Baba Yaga sleep
under the snow
on her longtime pillow
in her longtime bed
under the mountain
let her sleep
for a thousand years,