Lera Yanysheva: On Her Own (From Russian Romani)

On Her Own
By Lera Yanysheva
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

I sit at home and on my own.
I'd hoped to start a family.
The men said I was quite a lady
But years have had their way with me.

My little sisters are still young.
My baby brother is a kid.
My mother has been dead for years.
My father is an invalid.

God, what am I supposed to do?
I can't just leave them on their own.
Who else will put bread on the table?
Who else can work? It's me alone.

I did have men propose to me.
My father wouldn't let me though —
"I'm begging you: stay for the children.
We'll end up starving if you go."

The tears keep running down like water,
A fire has burned my heart clean through.
I'm no young woman anymore.
My darling, lover, where are you?

It's pointless. I can't be with you
When I have got this family.
And I have got to think of them.
The household has no head but me.

It's awful but sometimes I think of 
Running off with a gadjo man!
You girls are raising your own girls now
And I'm stuck at a market-stand.

Here men all look at me with pity
And mutter "goddamn tragedy"
And my black hair begins to whiten.
Here I am getting...elderly.

The tears keep running hot as water
Oh God! What could I do but give....
I'm old now, after what I've lived through, 
But never had a life to live. 

The Original:

Екхджины
Лера Янышева

Бэшав дро кхэр мэ екхджины    
Мэ палором ґара камава.
Сарэ ракирнас: мэ раны
Нэ о бэрша мирэ прастана.

Сы мандэ тыкнорэ пхэня
И мандэ пшал сы набаро.
О дай мири ґара мэя,
Э дад пхуро сы насвало.

Со ж мангэ Дэвла тэ кэрав?
Семьятыр тэ уджяв нашты.
Янава мэ кхэрэ тэ хав.
Мэ екхджины кэрав буты.

Рома явнэ кэ мэ сватэнца.
На отмэктя ман дад миро:
«Мангава тут мэ чяворэнца,
Амэнгэ битыро пхаро».

Ясва прастана сыр паны,
Ягаса о ило хачёл.
И мэ ґара на сом тэрны.
Кай, кайжэ ту, миро лачё?

Да, палэ тутэ мэ на джява,
Ведь мандэ семица бари.
И палэ лэн мэ думинава,
Ведь мэ дро семья хуланы.

Чяялэ, ладжяво признаться,
Гаджеса мэ бы унастём!
Сарэ чяя барэ чявэнца
А мэ про тарго ходиндём.

Сарэ рома пэ ман дыкхэна,
Пхэнэн, со мэ бибахталы.
Мирэ калэ бала парнёна,
Тэ и кана мэ пхураны.

Ясва прастана сыр паны.
О Дэвла! Семья захая!
И мэ дыкхав, со мэ пхури.
О джиипэн захасия!
Jekhdžinî
Lera Janîševa

Bešav dro kher me jekhdžinî,
Me palorom ghara kamáva.
Sare rakírnas me ranî,
Ne o berša mire prastána.

Sî mánde tîknoré phenja
I mánde pšal sî nabaro.
O daj miri ghara meja.
E dad phuro sî nasvalo.

So ž mánge Dévla te kerav?
Sjemjátîr te udžav naštî.
Janáva me khere te xav.
Me jekhdžinî kerav butî.

Roma javne ke me svaténca.
Na otmektja man dad miro:
"Mangáva tut me čavorénca,
Aménge bitîró pharo."

Jasva prastána sîr panî,
Jagása o ilo xačol.
I me ghara na som ternî.
Kaj, kaj že tu, miro lačo?

Da, pále túte me na džáva,
Vjedj mánde sjémjica bari.
I pále len me dumináva,
Vjedj me dro sjémja xulanî.

Čajále, ladžavo priznátsa,
Gadžésa me bî unastjom.
Sare čaja bare čavénca,
A me pro tárgo xodindjom.

Sare roma pe man dîkhéna,
Phenen, so me bibaxtalî.
Mire kale bala parnjóna,
Te i kana me phuranî.

Jasva prastána sîr panî.
O, Dévla! Sjémja zaxaja!
I me dîkháv, so me phuri.
O džiipen zaxasija!

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