Four pairs of slippers, shuffling,
scuffing the tiles on the way to the kitchen.
Straight by way of bus, from the dusty
bowels of the Tretyakov,
Mama would don an orange house coat,
tallying her beloved paintings.
Pungent, permanent haloes,
axle grease and diesel,
clung to Papa's hair.
Smoke curled past his ears.
Yesenin's poems held the place
where Pasha's nose might exist.
Olya, with that fierce pose,
should have caught a Firebird,
instead of tapping her cigarette on the sill.
After Pasha served with the boys
fresh from Afghan',
only his spectacles returned,
in a parcel sealed with wax.
One day, a gigantic beard
carried off Olya the almond-eyed.
Birch branches brushed the sill in shock.
Every year, on February 23rd,
Pasha perches at the window,
elbows akimbo, a white raven.
Mama knows not to try to touch him.
She opens the book and begins to read:
"Лицом к лицу
Лица не увидать.
Большое видится на расстоянье.
Face to face,
A face is unseen.
The whole is glimpsed only at a distance."
------Open to editorial discussion on this one..............
And more Rachmaninoff (I spell it as it appears in YouTube), Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13: