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This poem is taken from PN Review 129, Volume 26 Number 1, September - October 1999.

The Terrorist is Watching Wislawa Szymborska


The bomb will explode in the bar at one twenty.
It's only one sixteen.
A few more people might come in yet,
a few might leave.

The terrorist is on the other side of the road.
It's safe there
where he can watch things like he does in the cinema:

A woman wearing a yellow shirt has just gone in.
A man wearing dark shades has left.
A group of boys wearing jeans are talking.
One seventeen and four seconds.
The little one is lucky, he's gone off on his scooter
but a tall one has gone in in his place.

One seventeen and forty seconds.
A girl wearing a green ribbon in her hair is walking past.
A passing bus has blocked her from view.
...


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