The motherland is given by the mother
like in those old forms that asked about
your mother’s country of birth
and your father’s country of birth.
The mother tongue is given by the place.
Therefore the place is the father,
or the mother, or both,
or a faceless collective that takes you
and plants you in its bosom so you’ll remember
as long as you remember
with what pleasure you were made
and with what pain you will be expelled.
But between the pleasure and the pain,
between them and with them and without them,
all along this length
where the motherland is an eternal flame, just
like the eternal motherwisdom:
“Little children tread on your toes,
big children trample your heart.”
Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden, Sha’ar International Poets’ Festival, Haifa, 2013