So this is his mother.

This small woman.

The gray-eyed procreator.


The boat in which, years ago,

he sailed to shore.


The boat from which he stepped

into the world,

into un-eternity.


Genetrix of the man

with whom I leap through fire.


So this is she, the only one

who didn’t take him

finished and complete.


She herself pulled him

into the skin I know,

bound him to the bones

that are hidden from me.


She herself raised

the gray eyes

that he raised to me.


So this is she, his Alpha.

Why has he shown her to me.



So he was born, too.

Born like everyone else.

Like me, who will die.


The son of an actual woman.

A new arrival from the body’s depths.

A voyager to Omega


Subjed to

his own absence,

on every front,

at any moment.


He hits his head

against a wall

that won’t give way forever.


His movements

dodge and parry

the universal verdict.


I realized

that his journey was already halfway over.


But he didn’t tell me that,



“This is my mother.”

was all he said.

Wisława Szymborska              

(from No End of Fun 1967)