My grandfather left Poland in 1937, refugee of the evil horsemen.
My father left Romania in 1946, refugee of the war and the cold.
My mother left Argentina in 1961, refugee of the great love.
In the year 1982, I was made to leave Petah Tikva
to live Finland, Greece and Hungary:
to be silent in the snows, to tremble in earthquakes
and to be swept along with the Danube
towards the curtains of hell.
Something preceded all this but now
it’s too late to probe these things.
Knowing the reasons, understanding the motives,
the crazy journey will go on. This is the sentence:
be a refugee of refusal’s results,
know that armies and governments will change some day,
and that the word will always concede –
concede in the desire for beauty, dissolve in remembering the way.
And I will have no son, no son will be born to Cain.
The seed of Shem rolls nameless through the world, his body his home.
Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden