MASHA
 
A girl goes along the seashore
blushing and shy
a tide rising in her
a woman rising in her
 
She takes off her shoes by the sea
and steps into it as into music
And she understands everything
though she doesn't understand a thing
 
Reason and rashness mixed -  
A keen glance through us
and then again withdrawn -  
All this is Masha -  
a serious wide-eyed being
 
And the roof of my mouth goes dry
with her slender boyish legs
heedless of some grownup's opinion
bear her helplessly to me
 
And on the wet sand by an old boat
with growing confidence I kiss
all that Masha's arms are - from elbow
to the rose petals of her nails
 
I put on my snorkel gear
and Masha swims somewhere above me
I search for Masha through the glass
as if drunk among the crabs and flowers
 
And I see in the bright green gloaming
in a bank of clouds above the underwater ridge
her legs like white stalks
fluttering submerged
 
And I swim and swim in the underwater thickets
and I swim, my fins thatching the water,
and I'm unhappy because I'm happy
and then happy because I'm unhappy
 
What can I say ?  Tell your old Mother not to worry
Masha I'll do you no harm
Masha I ask so little of you
and yet so much - just that you exist -
 
In meditations on death and eternity
gripped by hope and melancholy
I look through your slender little heart
as through a transparent pebble in the sea.
 
    
   Yevgeny Yuetushenko (Soviet Union, Born 1945)