On Death, Without Exaggeration - Poem by Wislawa Szymborska
It can't take a joke, find a star, make a bridge. It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, building ships, or baking cakes. In our planning for tomorrow, it has the final word, which is always beside the point.
It can't even get the things done that are part of its trade: dig a grave, make a coffin, clean up after itself.
Preoccupied with killing, it does the job awkwardly, without system or skill. As though each of us were its first kill.
Oh, it has its triumphs, but look at its countless defeats, missed blows, and repeat attempts!
Sometimes it isn't strong enough to swat a fly from the air. Many are the caterpillars that have outcrawled it.
All those bulbs, pods, tentacles, fins, tracheae, nuptial plumage, and winter fur show that it has fallen behind with its halfhearted work.
Ill will won't help and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d'etat is so far not enough.
Hearts beat inside eggs. Babies' skeletons grow. Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves and sometimes even tall trees fall away.
Whoever claims that it's omnipotent is himself living proof that it's not.
There's no life that couldn't be immortal if only for a moment.
Death always arrives by that very moment too late.
In vain it tugs at the knob of the invisible door. As far as you've come can't be undone.