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Fathers

Like a stone stopping a burial-pit
Their shadows close over the sky.
They greet each other with a handshake
As though it were an everyday thing.
Winds of other times emanate
From the points of their beards
And the urgent pigeon-wings of their pilpul
Make a cloudy canopy
Under the open sky.

Hanging by a thread, my fathers jostle together,
A sleeve of Hispania cloth permeated with the scent of jasmine
On an austere robe from the lands of years gone by
On a breeze bearing blows, payes and pelts
Smells of walled houses in Gentile cities
A screaming child

Women

And pots

And their covenant of blood will close the heavenly ceiling
With joined hands.
They will not know that they were visited
By the fruit of their loins.

 

Translated by Barbara Harshav

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