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BEHIND FRONT LINES
 
 

She has changed her way of life.
Now she can be found in her forest
At almost all hours,
Walking barefoot,
Her hair unbrushed,
Watching the ants, talking,
To the hummingbirds.
I tried to tempt her to return
To us, at least for the nights, or when
She felt cold or afraid. Now
I falter. She looks at me with
Hostile eyes, retreats into
Her palaces of shadow, turns
Into streaks of light and darkness.

No, she doesn't want to come back.
Sometimes she sits for hours, waiting
For the birds to begin
Talking to her. For the ants to
Begin advancing with their loads
Of seeds and kernels. Sometimes
She nervously stares at the place where
The road enters the forest, as if
In spite of everything, she still
Waits for somebody, anybody who
Has been there once with her
And with me and disappeared
At the outbreak
Of war.
 

- Yehudith Kafri


translated from the Hebrew by Ann Darr
(c) All Rights Reserved.

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