Portrait of woman

March 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

by Wisława Szymborska, translation by Adam Czerniawski

Must present alternatives.
Change, but on condition that nothing changes.
That is easy, impossible, difficult, worth trying.
Her eyes are, as required, now deep blue, now grey,
black, sparkling, unaccountably filled with tears.
She sleeps with him as one of many, as the one and only.
She’ll bear him four children, no children, one.
Naive, but gives best advice.
Weak, but she’ll carry.
She has no head, so she’ll have a head,
reads Jaspers and women’s magazines.
Has no clue what this nut is for and will build a bridge.
Young, young as usual, always still young.
Holds in her hands a sparrow with a broken wing,
her own money for a long and distant journey,
a chopper, a poultice and a glass of vodka. 
Where is she running, perhaps she’s tired.
But no, only a little, very, it’s no matter.
She either loves him or she’s just stubborn.
For better, for worse and for love of God.


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