Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ballad



Hear the ballad “Murdered WomanSuddenly Gets Up from Chair.”It’s an honest ballad, pennedneither to shock nor to offend.The thing happened fair and square,with curtains open, lamps all lit;passersby could stop and stare.When the door had shut behind himand the killer ran downstairs,she stood up, just like the livingstartled by the sudden silence.She gets up, she moves her head,and she looks around with eyesharder than they were before.No, she doesn’t float through air;she steps on the ordinary,wooden, slightly creaky floor.In the oven she burns tracesthat the killer’s left behind:here a picture, there shoelaces,everything that she can find.It’s obvious that she’s not strangled.It’s obvious that she’s not shot.She’s been killed invisibly.She may still show signs of life,cry for sundry silly reasons,shriek in horror at the sightof a mouse,Ridiculoustraits are so predictablethat they aren’t so hard to fake.She got up like you and me.She walks just as people do.And she sings and combs her hair,which still grows.— Wisława Szymborska

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