I thought they would make us the heroes
of cantantas, posters, books of all kinds;
that hats would be flung in the air
and streets go out of their minds.
We had returned.
We were unbowed.
We had stayed true.
But the city had thoughts of its own;
it just muttered a word or two.
by Варлам Тихонович Шаламов (Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov)
translated by Robert Chandler