Literature and Poetry/
Yom Kippur

Ilan Came to My Birthday

Tishrei 5763

My children and Ruthie, and some friends

Prepared a big party

For my 50th birthday.

I did not invite Ilan.

He has not come to my birthdays for many years now.

 

On that summer evening

With everyone

And their wives

He appeared.

A young dark man, twenty-something.

He smiled to me, balding-age-counsel

And he is chasing the twenty

 

All that evening

Laughter-laughter

In white teeth

Later, he came to hug me

And say that he did not believe how much he’d laugh after me

So many years

That he is twenty-something.

 

And he added

That he is like then, terribly in love.

 

Ilan came to the birthday.

 

When the party dispersed

And everyone went to sleep

Ilan apologized in a whisper,

Saying that he must go,

Ordered me not to cry any more

The ammunition of tears in the forward outpost has run out.

 

I told him not to go.

 

Ilan promised to come again

In my dreams

And those of his mother.

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