What are we waiting for?

Middle Class Blues
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger*

We can’t complain.
We’re not out of work.
We don’t go hungry.
We eat.

The grass grows,
the social product,
the fingernail,
the past.

The streets are empty.
The deals are closed.
The sirens are silent.
All that will pass.

The dead have made their wills.
The rain’s become a drizzle.
The war’s not yet been declared.
There’s no hurry for that.

We eat the grass.
We eat the social product.
We eat the fingernails.
We eat the past.

We have nothing to conceal.
We have nothing to miss.
We have nothing to say.
We have.

The watch has been wound up.
The bills have been paid.
The washing-up has been done.
The last bus is passing by.

It is empty.

We can’t complain.

What are we waiting for?

* from Selected Poems, trans. H. M. Enzensberger, Michael Hamburger, Rita Dove, and Fred Viebahn. The Sheep Meadow Press, 1994.

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