In Marjayoun, on the city wall,
I am shaken by the pealing of bells:
A distant bell-ringer steps on
the pedal, pulls the ropes,
calls the dead to hurry to be baptized,
to hasten to their prayers.
In the ancient vaults of the fortress
the doors shake, the windows scream,
insistent voices implore
the baptized: to rise once again,
one more time, from the pools,
to draw near to the miracle worker
benefactor of their bruises, witness to their wounds,
injuries that now will never heal.
In Marjayoun, from the city wall,
I see how the melody
of their prayer dissolves in the parapets,
is lost among the hills,
smoking, as if it were
a requiem for the dead.
©2007 Elisha Porat
Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner
CHARLOTTE'S WEB PAGE POETRY ARCHIVES
Photo by David T Culver 2007 Graphics by Charlotte G Mair 2007