A Skeleton in the Closet

Anton Balazh, Kuznechny Lane (Leningrad), 1988-1990. Courtesy of Vladimir Golbraikh

When it rumbled and rattled,
And the soup in the pot bounced on the table,
He jumped up, and then crumbled.
The toys turned their faces straightaway—
It was not their toyish business.
He climbed into the closet.
He lay inside it and slept.
Then he woke, wailed a bit and wept,
Nibbled at the mushy potatoes on the floor,
And grabbing the blue dog,
Went back into the closet.
He was not long for this world.
Someday they’ll find his skeleton
Among the moldering blazers and skirts.
Those who find it might laugh—
A skeleton in the closet! But no one will laugh.
They will remove this little skeleton,
Clutching the colorless dog,
And carry it out into the terrible white world.

30 June 2022

Source: Vadim Zhuk, Facebook, 30 June 2022. Thanks to PZ for the heads-up. Vadim Zhuk (born 1947) is a well-known Russian actor, screenwriter, TV presenter, and poet. Translated by the Russian Reader