Thursday, January 05, 2006

Under the Microscope

Reya’s recent poetry post reminded me of a book of (translations of ) poems by Wistawa Szymborska (Polish) that my friend Betty loaned me (in exchange for my David Budbill While We’ve Got Feet book). This one seemed particularly appropriate as I was sitting here wondering if anyone is going to be watching me when I am in isolation sometime soon:

Maybe All This

Maybe all this
is happening in some lab?
Under one lamp by day
and billions by night?

Maybe we’re experimental generations?
Poured from one vial to the next,
shaken in test tubes,
not scrutinized by eyes alone,
each of us separately
plucked up by tweezers in the end?

Or maybe it’s more like this:
No interference?
The changes occur on their own
according to plan?
The graph’s needed slowly etches
its predictable zigzags?

Maybe thus far we aren’t of much interest?
The control monitors aren’t usually plugged in?
Only for wars, preferably large ones,
for the odd ascent above our clump of Earth,
for major migrations from point A to point B?

Maybe just the opposite:
They’ve got a taste for trivia up there?
Look! on the big screen a little girl
is sewing a button on her sleeve.
The radar shrieks,
the staff comes at a run.
What a darling little being
with its tiny heart beating inside it!

How sweet, its solemn
threading of the needle!
Someone cries enraptured:
Get the Boss,
tell him he’s got to see this for himself!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home