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Encounter By Czeslaw Milosz

March 11, 2001

We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.

A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.

One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive

Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going

The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.

I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

1936

TRANSLATED FROM THE POLISH BY THE AUTHOR AND LILLIAN VALLEE

From "The Body Electric," edited by Stephen Berg, David Bonanno and Arthur Vogelsang (W.W. Norton: 820 pp., $35)

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