Living in the Ruins

32″ x 34″    oil/canvas

Lines from a poem by Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish Nobel Laureate, inspired this painting.

The End and the Beginning

After every war
someone has to tidy up
Things don’t pick
themselves up, after all.
Someone has to shove the rubble
to the roadsides
so the carts loaded with corpses
can get by.
Someone has to trudge
through sludge and ashes
through the sofa springs
the shards of glass
the bloody rags.
Someone has to lug the post
to prop up the wall
someone has to glaze the window,
set the door in its frame. …
Someone broom in hand,
still remembers how it was…

– Tr. from Polish by Stanishaw Baranczak & Clare Canangh