Tuesday, May 23, 2006

117. ANY CASE - Wislawa Szymborska

(translated by Grazyna Drabik and Sharon Olds)

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Closer. Farther away.
It happened, but not to you.

You survived because you were the first.
You survived because you were the last.
Because alone. Because the others.
Because on the left. Because on the right.
Because it was raining. Because it was sunny.
Because a shadow fell.

Luckily there was a forest.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
a frame, a turn, an inch, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the water.

Thanks to, thus, in spite of, and yet.
What would have happened if a hand, a leg,
one step away, a hair away––

So you are here? Straight from that moment still suspended?
The net's mesh was tight, but you––through the mesh?
I can't stop wondering at it, can't be silent enough.
how quickly your heart is beating in me.