LITTLE RUTH Ruth Haktana A/M
Sometimes I remember you, Little Ruth,
That we parted ways in a distant childhood, that you were incinerated in the camps
Had you lived now you would have been a sixty-five years old woman,
A woman on the verge of old age. At twenty you were incinerated.
And I don't know what happened to you in your short life since we parted.
What have you accomplished, what rank stripes
Have you received on your shoulder, on your sleeve, on your
Courageous spirit. Which bright stars
Were you decorated with, which bravery honors,
Which love medals were hung on your neck
What peace is upon you, you that have gone in peace.
And whatever has happened to your unused years?
Are they still packed together like beautiful parcels?
Have they perhaps been added to my life? Have you turned me
Into your love bank? Like the Swiss banks in which the treasure is kept long
After its owner has passed away? Will I leave them to my children
Whom you have never met?
Causes others to be drunk, yet he remains sober.
You are sober in your death, clear in the kingdom of darkness,
To someone inebriated by life, who rolls about in forgetfulness.
Sometimes I remember you at occasions I didn't imagine
And at places not meant to be remembered
Only meant to be transient and passing and not memorable
Like at the airport when the arriving travelers
Are standing tired next to the sliding, turning carousel
That brings their suitcases and packages
And when they find theirs they give out a shout
Like at the resurrection of the dead, and they go on with their lives…
And there is one suitcase that returns and then disappears, and
Then returns again, slowly, in the emptying terminal,
And again and again it returns,
That's how your silent image passes in front of me,
That's the way I remember you,
Until the carousel will stop running and its blood. Sela