My father remembers next to nothing. With slight exceptions.
Do you remember fixing transmitters for the Home Army?
Of course I remember. Were you afraid?
I don’t remember. Was Mother afraid? I don’t know.
The garden on Piaskowa Street? Sure.
The scent of linden blossoms? No.
Do you remember Mr. Romer? Sometimes.
Skiing on Czantoria Mountain? I guess not.
Do you remember infinity? No, I don’t.
But I’ll see it soon. (He could say that.)
(translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh)
Adam Zagajewski, who lives in Krakow and Chicago, is the author of Tremor, In Defense of Ardor, and other books of poetry and prose; the present poem is part of the volume Unseen Hand, published in the summer of 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His translator, Clare Cavanagh, is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University.