Y E H U D A A M I C H A I What did I learn in the wars: To march in time to swinging arms and legs Like pumps pumping an empty well. To march in a row and be alone in the middle, To dig into pillows, featherbeds, the body of a beloved woman, And to yell "Mama," when she cannot hear, And to yell "God," when I don't believe in Him, And even if I did believe in Him I wouldn't have told Him about the war As you don't tell a child about grown-ups' horrors. What else did I learn. I learned to reserve a path for retreat. In foreign lands I rent a room in a hotel Near the airport or railroad station. And even in the wedding halls Always to watch the little door With the exit sign in red letters. A battle too begins Like rhythmical drums for dancing and ends With a "retreat at dawn." Forbidden love And battle, the two of them sometimes end like this. But above all I learned the wisdom of camouflage, Not to stand out, not to be recognized, Not to be apart from
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Dec 4, 2008
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