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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Rat Became The Unit Of Currency

Zbigniew Herbert
I write as I can in the rhythm of interminable weeks
monday: empty storehouses a rat became the unit of currency
tuesday: the mayor murdered by unknown assailants
wednesday: negotiations for a cease-fire the enemy has imprisoned our messengers
we don't know where they are held that is the place of torture
thursday: after a stormy meeting a majority of voices rejected
the motion of the spice merchants for unconditional surrender
friday: the beginning of the plague saturday: our invincible defender
N.N. committed suicide sunday: no more water we drove back
an attack at the eastern gate called the Gate of the Alliance
Rats multiply and multiply like money. Rats are a plague, they bring disease like money. They destroy crops, kill infants, infest the city, homes, buildings, empty lots until they are everywhere. Like currency. Like money. Everywhere you go the rats are there.

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