A Terrorist is Watching   (c)


The bomb will off in the bar at one-twenty.

Now itís only one-sixteen.

Some will still manage to go in.

Some to go out.

The terrorist had already crossed the street.

At this distance heís safe,

and has a view like in the movies:

A woman in a yellow jacket - she goes in.

A man in sunglasses - he goes out.

Boys in jeans - they are talking.

One-seventeen and four seconds.

The smaller one is lucky and rides off on a bike,

but the taller one goes in.

One-seventeen and forty seconds.

A young woman, green ribbon in her hair, is walking.

But a bus suddenly blocks the view.

The young woman in nowhere to be seen.

Was she stupid enough to go in?

Weíll see when they carry them out.


Nobody goes in.

Instead, one man, fat and bald, goes out.

But he seems to be looking for something in his pockets

and at one-twenty, less ten seconds,

he goes back for his silly gloves.

Itís one-twenty.

How the time crawls.

Maybe, itís now.

No, not yet.

Yes, now.

The bomb goes off.


                      -  Wislawa Szymborska (b. 1923) Polish



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