artvillapresents <sylvia-plath-poems Poems by Wislawa Szymborska Charles Bukowski Poetry Contact

A 'Thank You' Note - Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

There is much I owe
to those I do not love.
The relief in accepting
they are closer to another.
Joy that I am not
the wolf to their sheep.
My peace be with them
for with them I am free,
and this, love can neither give,
nor know how to take.
I don't wait for them
from window to door.
Almost as patient
as a sun dial,
I understand
what love does not understand.
I forgive
what love would never have forgiven.
Between rendezvous and letter
no eternity passes,
only a few days or weeks.
My trips with them always turn out well.
Concerts are heard.
Cathedrals are toured.
Landscapes are distinct.
And when seven rivers and mountains
come between us,
they are rivers and mountains
well known from any map.
It is thanks to them
that I live in three dimensions,
in a non-lyrical and non-rhetorical space,
with a shifting, thus real, horizon.
They don't even know
how much they carry in their empty hands.
'I don't owe them anything',
love would have said
on this open topic.