Everyone sometime has somebody close die,
between to be or not to be
he’s forced to choose the latter.
We can’t admit that it’s a mundane fact,
subsumed in the course of events,
in accordance with procedure:
sooner or later on the daily docket,
the evening, late night, or first dawn docket;
and explicit as an entry in an index,
as a statute in a codex,
as any chance date
on a calendar.
But such is the right and left of nature.
Such, willy-nilly, is her omen and her amen.
Such are her instruments and omnipotence.
And only on occasion
a small favor on her part—
she tosses our dead loved ones
(Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak)
from Map: Collected and Last Poems by Wisława Szymborska