Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.
O to be a lock-keeper in Żuławy
on a non-essential branch of the canal,
amid a flat landscape. Every day
to ride a bike to a concrete cabin
smaller than a news kiosk. To watch through
a little square window the risings and settings
of the sun. To have no idea about art, to know
where the pike lurks, where the eels. On
a misty morning, drinking tea
with a dash of spirit, to hear on the radio, which only
gets one channel, that in the world there are
over ten million species of plants and
animals, and not to believe it, or
that there are countries where people are dying
of hunger, and to think about it, and forget
to open the sluice. And flood several nearby meadows.
And not bear any consequences for it.