Lines / With the Good Guys

This poem and other pieces from this sequence were published in the most recent edition of Ho! Literary Magazine, Volume 7, 2009.

Something terrible happened to Yoel.

He saw something.

He saw something but he wasn't sure.

Something terrible happened to Yoel.

He thought he was fighting on the good guys' side

He thought so - until the battle began.

Yoel, what are you going to do now?

What will become of you, what?

Yoel, what are you going to do now?

How will sleep return to your lovely eyes?

Something terrible happened to Yoel.

When the green hills donned red,

A black curtain dropped on his head.

Something terrible happened to Yoel,

And now he strays like a bullet.

Yoel, what are we going to do now?

What will become of us, what?

Yoel, what are we going to do now?

How will sleep return to our heavy eyes?

Something terrible happened to Yoel.

It will wake him up at night,

Every night,

Henceforth and forever.

Translated by Vivian Eden. The word for "song" in Hebrew - shir - is the same as the word for poem, and indeed in Israeli culture there is much more crossover between the two than in the English-speaking cultures. For her next album, singer, songwriter and arranger Rona Kenan is currently working on a sequence of poems/songs about a character called Yoel, who is based on her father, author Amos Kenan, with the aim of telling the story of the sabra generation. "With the Good Guys" and other pieces from this sequence were published in the most recent edition of Ho! Literary Magazine, Volume 7, 2009.