Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't Go Far Off

 Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
- Pablo Neruda

A Contribution to Statistics

 Out of a hundred people

those who always know better

doubting every step
-nearly all the rest,

glad to lend a hand
if it doesn't take too long
-as high as forty-nine,

always good
because they can't be otherwise
-four, well maybe five,

able to admire without envy

suffering illusions
induced by fleeting youth
-sixty, give or take a few,

not to be taken lightly
-forty and four,

living in constant fear
of someone or something

capable of happiness
-twenty-something tops,

harmless singly, savage in crowds
-half at least,

when forced by circumstances
-better not to know
even ballpark figures,

wise after the fact
-just a couple more
than wise before it,

taking only things from life
(I wish I were wrong),

hunched in pain,
no flashlight in the dark
sooner or later,

-thirty-five, which is a lot,

and understanding

worthy of compassion

-a hundred out of a hundred.
thus far this figure still remains unchanged.

- Wislawa Szymborska