Did it all
happen in the laboratory?
Beneath one lamp by day
and billions by night?
Are we a trial generation?
Poured from one beaker to another,
shaken in retorts,
observed by something more than an eye,
each one individually
taken by forceps?
Or maybe otherwise:
The transformations occur on their own
in accordance with a plan.
The needle draws
the expected zigzags.
Maybe until now there was nothing interesting in us.
The control monitors are seldom switched on,
except when there's a war, and a rather big one at that,
several flights over the lump of clay called Earth,
or significant movements from point A to point B.
Or perhaps thus:
they only have a taste for episodes.
Look! a little girl on a big screen
is sewing a button to her sleeve.
The monitors begin to shriek,
personnel comes running in.
Oh, what short of tiny creature
with a little heart beating on the inside!
What graceful dignity
in the way she draws the thread!
Someone calls out in rapture:
Tell the Boss,
and let him come see for himself!
by Wislawa Szymborska