Mirror

by Wisława Szymborska | April 20, 2012

Yes, I remember that wall
in our demolished town.
It jutted almost up to the fifth floor.
A mirror hung on the fourth,
an impossible mirror,
unshattered, firmly attached.

It didn't reflect anybody's face,
no hands arranging hair,
no door across the room,
nothing you could call
a place.

As if it were on vacation—
the living sky gazed in it,
busy clouds in the wild air,
the dust of rubble washed by shining rains,
birds in flight, stars, sunrises. 

And like any well-made object,
it functioned flawlessly,
with an expert lack of astonishment.

­ —Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Baranczak

This poem appeared in the May 10, 2012 issue of the magazine.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/books-and-arts/magazine/102770/mirror