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   Goodbye our Red Flag 
This poeme is an excerpt from the book "Don't die before you're dead" by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Key Porter Books, pages 391-393). In this book, the author tells the story of the failed coup d'état of August 19, 1991, against the President and Parliament of Russia.
Goodbye our Red Flag.
You slipped down from the Kremlin roof
            not so proudly
                not so adroitly
as you climbed many years ago
                on the destroyed Reichstag
smoking like Hitler's last fag.


Goodbye our Red Flag.
You were our brother and our enemy.
You were a soldier's comrade in trenches,
                you were the hope of all captive Europe,
But like a Red curtain you concealed behind you
                                the Gulag
                stuffed with frozen dead bodies.
Why did you do it,
                    our Red Flag?


Goodbye our Red Flag.
    Lie down.
    Take a rest.
We will remember all the victims
deceived by your Red sweet murmur
that lured millions like sheep
                to the slaughterhouse.
But we will remember you
            because you too
                were no less deceived.
Goodbye our Red Flag.
                Were you just a romantic rag?


You are bloodied
            and with our blood we strip you
                            from our souls.
That's why we can't scratch out
                the tears from our red eyes,
because you so widly
                slapped them
                    with your heavy golden tassels.


Goodbye our Red Flag.
    Our first step to freedom
we stupidly took
                over your wounded silk,
and ourselves,
                divided by envy and hatred.
Hey crowd,
            do not trample again in the mud
the already cracked glasses
                            of Doctor Zhivago.


Goodbye our Red Flag.
            Pry open the fist
that imprisoned you
                trying to wave something red over Civil War,
when scoundrels try to grab
                your standard again,
or just desperate people,
                lining up for hope.
Goodbye our Red Flag.
    You float into our dreams.
Now you are just
                a narrow stripe
                        in our Russian Tricoleur.
In the innocent hands of whiteness,
    in the innocent hands of blue
maybe even your red color
                can be washed free of blood.


Goodbye our Red Flag.
            Be careful, our Tricoleur.
Watch out for the card sharks of flags
                lest they twist you around their greasy finger.
Could it be that you too,
                will have the same death sentence
                    as your red brother,
to be shot by our own bullets,
devouring like lead moths
                    your silk?


Goodbye our Red Flag.
In our naive childhood
                    we played Red Army - White Army.
We were born in a country
                    that no longer exists.
But in that Atlantis we were alive,
                    we were loved.
You, our Red Flag, lay in a puddle
                    in a flea market.
Some hustlers sell you
                    for hard currency.
    Dollars, Francs, Yen.
I didn't take the Tsar's Winter Palace.
    I didn't storm Hitler's Reichstag.
I'm not what you call a "Commie."
But I caress the Red Flag
                    and cry.