Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;
to tell pain
from everything it's not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble upon a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;
and to keep on not knowing
something important.

Szymborska,聽Wislawa.聽Monologue of a Dog.聽United States,聽HMH Books,聽2015.

Why I chose this poem

When I read this, there is a spaciousness in the imagery, a moment of feeling before I can even begin to understand the words. It's like each ephemeral image holds its own ephemeral pause. And I feel it at the end, that life is the only way to keep on not knowing something important.