Soldiers on their knees in the sand
Rachel Tzvia Back
Grandfather who cut his nails
before sunset and before his peaceful
Sabbath queen arrived
would save the pale slivers in a box
to be buried with him
Dust unto dust he said
with not a single particle missing
The dream was of the day
the dead would rise
in the next world
soldiers on their knees
sifting and searching for body parts
do not think of next worlds
they think only of
their sons my sons
the setting sun
building tunnels and towers
in the sand
From On Ruins & Return, Shearsman Press 2007.
“In this last terrible period of violence, a friend of mine reminded me of one of my poems with the refrain ‘my sons, their sons,’” the poet and translator Rachel Tzvia Back wrote in an email this week.
The same sun sets over everyone.
Musings: Have the past several days been an instance of grim life imitating art? Are poets prophets? Will nothing ever change?
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