A Moment

Wisława Szymborska
Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

I’m walking on the slope of a hill newly green.
Grass, small flowers in the grass,
just as in a children’s book.
Hazy sky, already turning blue.
A view of other hills spreads out in silence.

As if there had been no Cambrians or Siluries here,
rocks growling at one another,
upthrust abysses, no fiery nights
nor days in clouds of darkness.

As if no plains had moved through here
in feverish delirium,
in icy shivers.

As if only elsewhere had the seas been churning,
tearing apart the edges of the horizon.

It is nine-thirty local time.
Everything is in its place and in genial accord.
In the valley, the small stream as a small stream.
The path as a path from always to ever.

Woods in the guise of woods world without end amen,
and on high, birds in flight as birds in flight.

As far as the eye can see a moment reigns here.
One of those earthly moments
implored to linger.


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