A Note

Wisława Szymborska
Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

Life—the only way,
to grow over with leaves,
catch a breath on the sand,
soar on wings;

to be a dog,
or to pet one;

to tell pain apart
from everything that isn’t pain;

to fit into events,
to vanish in vistas,
to search for the minutest of errors.

It’s an excellent opportunity
to recall for a bit
what was talked about
with the lamp turned off;

and if only once
to trip over a rock,
to get drenched in the rain,
to lose keys in the grass,
to follow a spark on the wind;

always not knowing
something important.


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