You Shoot at Yourself, America / Freedom to Kill / The color of the Statue of Liberty / Grows ever more deathly pale / As, loving freedom with bullets / You shoot at yourself, America. / You can kill yourself this way! / It is dangerous to go out / Into this hellish world, / But it is still more dangerous / To hide in the bushes. / There is a smell on earth of a / universal / Dallas, / It is frightful to live / And this fright is shameful. / Who is going to believe hypocritical / fairy tales, / When, behind a facade of noble / ideas / The price of revolver lubricant / rises / And the price of human life falls? / Murderers attend funerals dressed / in mourning, / And later become stockholders, / And, once again, / Ears of grain filled with bullets / Wave in the fields of Texas. / The eyes of murderers peer out / alike from under hats and caps, / The steps of murderers are heard / at all doorways, / And a second of the Kennedys / falls... / America, save your children! / The children of other countries / turn gray, / And their huts, / Bombed in the night, / Burn in your fire, / Just like your / Bill of Rights. / You promised to be the conscience / of the world, / But, at the brink of bottomless / shame, / You are shooting not at King, / But at your own conscience. / You ar bombing Vietnam, / And with this your own honor. / When a nation is going dangerously / insane, / it cannot be cured of its troubles / By hastily prescribed / Calm. / Perhaps the only help is shame. / History cannot be cleansed in a / laundry. / There are not such washing machines / Blood can never be washed away! / O where is it hiding, the shame / of the nation, / As if it were a runaway Negro? / The slaves are within the slaves. / There are many unfettered / murderers. / They carry out their mob justice, / Pograms, / And Raskolnikov wanders through / America, / Insane, / With a bloody ax. / Hey, Old Abe / What are people doing, / Understanding vilely only one / truth: / That the greatness of a tree / Can be assessed only after it is / felled. / Lincoln basks in his marble chair, / Wounded. / They are shooting at him again! / What beasts. / The stars / In your flag, / America, / Are like bullet holes. / Arise from the dead, / Bullet-pierced Statue of Liberty, / Murdered so many times, / And speak out like a woman and / mother / And curse the freedom to kill. / But without wiping the splashes / of blood from your forehead / You, Statue of Liberty, have / raised up / Your green, drowned woman's face, / Appealing to the heavens against / being trodden under foot. / Yevgeny Yevtushenko
signed on front, lower proper left corner:
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