The End And The Beginning

By Wisława Szymborska

Translated By Joanna Trzeciak

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.
 
Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.
 
Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.
 
Someone has to drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone has to glaze a window,
rehang a door.
 
Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.
 
We’ll need the bridges back,
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.
 
Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls the way it was.
Someone else listens
and nods with unsevered head.
But already there are those nearby
starting to mill about
who will find it dull.
 
From out of the bushes
sometimes someone still unearths
rusted-out arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.
 
Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.
 
In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email

Read More Poetry

Ozymandias By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias By Percy Bysshe Shelley Out of the night that covers me,      Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be      For my

Ode to a Nightingale By John Keats

Ode to a Nightingale By John Keats My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,Or emptied some

Get a weekly email with best free content
Subscribe