No Other Occupation Needed

Not being a poet, Boris, I cannot

Put in to words what I felt when I first heard the news.

Later, pictures of the horror: your damaged body, 

Exposed to strangers' eyes and hands

On the hard and dirty no man's land 

The ‘investigation’ off to...hardly a start, your blood hosed away.

You would have found words to describe all this. 

As for us, we see you curly-haired, a young physicist, in Gorky with Sakharov and Bonner,

Tall and lean - did you really go so far so fast? - stalking the Kremlin with Chubais and Yeltsin.

And the stubborn democrat, in sweater and jeans, 

The interviews, the speeches, Ekho Moskvy, Radio Svoboda, Dozhd,

Prospekt Sakharova, Bolotnaya Ploshchad.

It’s often the way: to really see, and love, someone for the first time once they are gone.

We hear the intonations of your voice, your good-natured laughter 

In public debate, in open polemic, in critical discourse 

In a country where power fears these things

A true patriot -

Now it is up to us to make a memorial to what you achieved

Being Boris Nemtsov, no other occupation needed.


See: ‘«Должность моя — Борис Немцов». Мы запомнили его таким’, Dozhd TV, 2 March 2015