Photograph from September 11
By Wisława Szymborska
Translated By Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
They jumped from the burning floors —
one, two, a few more,
The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.
Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.
There's enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.
They're still within the air's reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.
I can do only two things for them —
describe this flight
and not add a last line.
Have been Skyping my sons about new phones and engineering classes so I am behind on everything tonight, and this is always a hard day to come up with anything meaningful to say, anyway. Though really I was behind on everything all day, since Shutterfly sent me a free photo book coupon so I finished the book about my kids' school years that I've been working on on and off for months. So I got a lot done today but very little of it was work-work -- tomorrow is review day and will involve a lot more getting focused and getting things done!
We started watching the kickoff of the football season before talking to the kids, which required muting the TV, though I was having a dilemma already because I don't like rooting for the Cheetahs but I refuse to root for a team with either Roethlisberger or Vick, let alone both! So I felt no regret about bailing to watch @midnight at 11, then Colbert, who is still finding his footing but wow, the difference between his Bush and Biden interviews the same week in terms of time and content both. All across the Pennsylvania Renfaire: