A Man by Nina Cassian

While fighting for his country, he lost an arm and was suddenly afraid;

From now on, I shall only be able to do things by halves.

I shall reap half a harvest.

I shall be able to play either the tune or the accompaniment on the piano,

but never both parts together.

I shall be able to bang with only one fist on doors, and worst of all

I shall only be able to half hold my love close to me.

There will be things I cannot do at all, applaud for example,

at shows where everyone applauds:

From that moment on, he set himself to do everything with twice as much enthusiasm.

And where the arm had been torn away, a wing grew.


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