The New Blast-Furnace in the Kemerovo Metallurgical Combine

Up there where the new blast-furnace rises
they are working.
Is that boy laughing?
Is he balancing in the wind?
Indifferently, he walks the thin ledge
and for a moment, just slightly,
tilts his head as if yearning
for the ground that awaits him.
He is at ease in the echo
of erratic footfall,
in the scatter of sparks like fistfuls
of failing stars in an August sky.
Of course there is the bravado,
the passion and sudden expectation
that a passing girl will understand
the distance, his height above ground.
Girls have other things in mind-
one will look up, see him, and understand
nothing. It is something farther
that calls to her. something beyond him.
And yet, on a rare trip to the circus,
she will strain forward, pale
with concern for the walker
when he steps onto the wire.
With his anger cloaked, and almost cool,
he again looks down
onto girls who have forgotten him,
then scatters sparks, failing stars of fire.

— Translated by Daniel Halpern