A Little Girl Tugs at the Tablecloth
She’s been in this world for over a year,
and in this world not everything’s been examined
and taken in hand.
The subject of today’s investigation
is things that don’t move by themselves.
They need to be helped along,
taken from their place and relocated.
They don’t all want to go, e.g., the bookshelf,
the cupboard, the unyielding walls, the table.
But the tablecloth on the stubborn table
—when well-seized by its hems—
manifests a willingness to travel.
And the glasses, plates,
creamer, spoons, bowl,
are fairly shaking with desire.
what form of motion will they take,
once they’re trembling on the brink:
will they roam across the ceiling?
fly around the lamp?
hop onto the windowsill and from there to a tree?
Mr. Newton still has no say in this.
Let him look down from the heavens and wave his hands.
This experiment must be completed.
And it will.
(Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak)