…The sun set. Silvery clouds already passed away, the wind murmured and calmed in bushes, dogs barked their fool heads off, all deadened… …Only stars were flickering silently. She had not come yet. He was nervously walking to and fro, he was dying to smoke, but it was quite impossible. In the forest, which stood nearby like a black, first noiseless wall, its own life, which was invisible, but tangible, was starting. A branch crackled. Then once again and again. Something soughed in the grass. A tree creaked… The darkness was surrounding him from all sides, the trees were drawing near, the bushes were encircling him, the field reared. The night was perfectly entering its rights, and there was no place for him here. The cold stars were indifferently looking from the sky. Despair had almost ravened him, and all sorts of adversity seemed to near from everywhere. …But then, he felt by his nape that everything changed; he sharply moved, so that even his forage cap was awry, he turned around – that was right – there she was. Not from the side he had expected her to appear. She was rising above the forest's ragged edge, absolutely full and round, enlighting both the calmed at once field, the recoiled forest, and the bushes, which returned to their places, and everything all around. The night moved as well, and he was not lonely again in that alien hostile country with its immense spaces and sad songs, and, as before, they were together. …Still, in four hours, lance bombardier Wilke would bring somebody to change him, and he would go to bed, and, if at a push, there would be no rafale at that time, he would see in his short dreams his house and everyone, who waited for him there, and loved him, and longed for him.
Minsk, January 2001
Russian-English translation: Andrej Bursau