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The Bricolage of Banished Lives
-- a chastushka
-- a chastushka
See Ilyana softly shining,
Cherenkov a ghostly hue
And beside her Blue Blaze running
Fast enough to blur her too.
One is heavy, solid, stubborn;
One is laughter, light, and grace.
Still each of them loves the other,
Struggling to find their place.
False dawn glimmers all above them
As the city sleeps about
While it's safe to venture onward,
No one here to see them out.
When the city wakes they scurry
Out of view and down below,
Guardians of secret duty
Keeping faith as on they go.
Hidden from the world they harbor
Working wonders out of sight,
Banished from the ordinary
Now they live within the light.
Based in an abandoned bunker
Half decrepit, half deluxe
Like two hearts in cryptic measure
Feel along the neutron flux.
Women twine as mortal lovers,
Opposites and yet alike,
Differing in stranger layers
Kindling from sparks they strike.
When they work, they make equipment
From what they find on the way.
Torn-off doors shield them from weapons;
Half a car becomes a sleigh.
Well they know the rules they live by:
Make it do, or do without
Scrounging tools to do their jobs with
Never pausing for a doubt.
Not for them is all the limelight;
Not all heras make the news.
Thus they do their work in private,
Not in front of fawning crews.
So for now they're friends and lovers --
Someday, maybe, they'll be wives --
Partners, always, bound together,
Bricolage of banished lives.
* * *
The chastushka is a Russian poem or folk song.
Trochaic meter uses feet consisting of a stressed syllable and then an unstressed syllable. This pattern is more natural in Russian than in English (where iambic is more common) but it still works in both.
Bricolage is the art of making do with what you have.
Neutron flux is a quantity used in nuclear reactor physics.