And they awaited his return:
the cut grass, the hole dug for a tree,
the fading plastic chairs,
the rusted gate, its hinges wailing.
Mother, brother, father and sister,
frozen in time: faded
to invisibility, bowed by the weight of the days.
And when he finally comes, everything
will start to move: the grass will grow,
the tree will bear fruit, the plastic
chairs will shine and the gate will swing
and squeak, never to be still again.
Just let him return: to burst
the bubble of time, so that their scarred hearts
can beat again. They will slowly
kneel, will raise their eyes
to him, in tears, in thanks.
Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner
They waited for him to come home:
the trimmed lawn, the tree in its saucer,
the faded plastic chairs, the rusty
gate, creaking on its hinges.
Mother, brother, father, sister,
frozen in time: wilting, transparent,
bowed down with weight of days.
And then, when suddenly he comes in,
everything begins to move, the lawn thickens,
the tree bears fruit, the plastic
chairs are scrubbed, the gate turns
and creaks, moving endlessly.
If only he would come in, come home.
The bubble of time bursts. The scarred heart
beats again. Slowly they go down
on their knees, lift their eyes
to him in grief, in gratitude.
Translated from the Hebrew by Eddie Levenston, April 2007
וְהֵם חִכּוּ לוֹ שֶׁיָּשׁוּב:
הַדֶּשֶׁא הַקָּצוּר, גֻּמַּת הָעֵץ,
כִּסְאוֹת הַפְּלַסְטִיק שֶׁדָּהוּ,
פִּשְׁפָּשׁ חָלוּד, צִירָיו שֶׁיִּבְּבוּ.
הָאֵם, הַאָח, הָאָב וְהָאָחוֹת,
קְפוּאִים בְּתוֹךְ הַזְּמַן: קְמוּלִים
שְׁקוּפִים, שָׁחִים מֵרֹב יָמִים.
וְאָז, כְּשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לְפֶתַע, הַכֹּל
יָחֵל לָנוּעַ: הַדֶּשֶׁא שֶׁיִּצְמַח,
הָעֵץ יִשָּׂא פִּרְיוֹ, כִּסְאוֹת
הַפְּלַסְטִיק יִתְמָרְקוּ וְהַפִּשְׁפָּשׁ יִסֹּב,
יַחֲרֹק, וְלֹא יַפְסִיק לָנוּעַ.
רַק שֶׁיָּשׁוּב וְיִכָּנֵס: בּוּעַת
הַזְּמַן תִּפְקַע, לִבָּם הַמְצֻלָּק
יַחֲזֹר לִפְעֹם. עַל בִּרְכֵּיהֶם
יֵרְדוּ לְאַט, אֵלָיו יִשְׂאוּ
עֵינַיִם: בִּבְכִי, בְּהוֹדָיָה.
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