Astonishment

 

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Why after all this one and not the rest?

Why this specific self, not in a nest,

but a house? Sewn up not in scales, but skin?

Not topped off by a leaf, but by a face?

Why on earth now, on Tuesday of all days,

and why on earth, pinned down by this starís pin?

In spite of years of my not being here?

In spite of seas of all these dates and fates,

these cells, celestials and coelenterates?

What is it really that made me appear

neither an inch nor half a globe too far,

neither a minute nor aeons too early?

What made me fill myself with me so squarely?

Why am I staring now into the dark

and muttering this unending monologue

just like the growling thing we call a dog?

 

Wisława Szymborska†† †††††††††††

(from Could Have 1972)†††††††††††