A Bloody Fairytale

A Bloody Fairytale

                                    By Desanka Maksimović

It was in a land of peasants
in the mountainous Balkans,
a company of schoolchildren
died a martyr's death
in one day.

They were all born
in the same year
their school days passed the same
taken together
to the same festivities,
vaccinated against the same diseases,
and all died on the same day.

It was in a land of peasants
in the mountainous Balkans,
a company schoolchildren
died a martyr's death
in one day.

And fifty-five minutes
before the moment of death
the company of small ones
sat at its desk
and the same difficult assignments
they solved: how far can a
traveler go if he is on foot...
and so on.

Their thoughts were full
of the same numbers
and throughout their notebooks in school bags
lay an infinite number
of senseless A's and F's.
A pile of the same dreams
and the same secrets
patriotic and romantic
they clenched in the depths of their pockets.
and it seemed to everyone
that they will run
for a long time beneath the blue arch
until all the assignments in the world
are completed.

It was in a land of peasants
in the mountainous Balkans,
a company of small ones
died a martyr's death
in one day.

Whole rows of boys
took each other by the hand
and from their last class
went peacefully to slaughter
as if death was nothing.

Whole lines of friends
ascended at the same moment
to their eternal residence.


 Translated 
by Dragana Konstantinovi
c
    

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