I might have been myself minus amazement

Transient Desert Sands - rob woodcut

I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.

I could have different
ancestors, after all,
I could have fluttered
from another nest
or crawled bescaled
from under another tree.

Nature’s wardrobe
holds a fair supply of costumes:
spider, seagull, field mouse.
Each fits perfectly right off
and is dutifully worn
into shreds.

I didn’t get a choice either,
but I can’t complain.
I could have been someone
much less separate.
Someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
an inch of landscape tousled by the wind.

Someone much less fortunate,
bred for my fur
or Christmas dinner,
something swimming under a square of glass.

A tree rooted to the ground
as the fire draws near.

A grass blade trampled by a stampede
of incomprehensible events.

A shady type whose darkness
dazzled some.

What if I’d prompted only fear,
loathing,
or pity?

If I’d been born
in the wrong tribe,
with all roads closed before me?

Fate has been kind
to me thus far.

I might never have been given
the memory of happy moments.

My yen for comparison
might have been taken away.

I might have been myself minus amazement,
that is,
someone completely different.

~ Wisława Szymborska, “Among The Multitudes“, Poems New and Collected 


Notes:

Comments

  1. She was amazing poet, I love her poems. Thank you dear David, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful…tho’ we are not worthy of these bodies without amazement…Awe, humility and gratitude – at least for me, the legs of my table.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Grateful for the beauty of this poem and the thoughts it engenders.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true David. I used to think about this lots when I was a kid believe it or not! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s epic. It’s one of those pieces I’ve thought about, as in the topic, but never put into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post!
    For all in this world who lack foreknowledge, the graces of life hinge on the roll of the dice.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

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