Literature and Poetry/
Yom Hazikaron

Haim Hefer

The Parade of the Fallen

They come from the mountains, from the plain, from the desert

They come – names, faces, eyes – and appear for the parade

They come with a manly step, strong and tanned

They come out of the pulverized plans and from the burnt tanks

They rise from behind rocks, from across the dunes and from the trenches

Heroes like lions, brave as leopards and light as eagles

And they pass one by one between two lines of angels

The angels who sweeten them and adorn their necks with flowers

And I look at them and they are all happy

They are my brothers, they are my brothers

 

And they meet each other, blue, black and brown eyes

And they remind each other of names and weapons and places

And they pour for each other cups of coffee and tea

And they suddenly call out together: Bravo!

And they meet the huge audience of comrades and friends

And the commanders slap the shoulders of the privates and the privates shake the commanders’ hand

And they break out in song and applaud

And all the residents of the heavens listen to them in wonder

And the meeting continues day and night, day and night

because such a group have never been up there

And then suddenly they hear familiar voices crying

And they look towards home to father and mother, to the wives, the children and the brothers

And their faces are still and they stand embarrassed

And then one of them whispers: Sorry, but we had to do it.

We won the battles and now we are resting

These are my brothers, these are my brothers

 

And thus they stand and the light is on their faces

And only God alone moves between them

And with tears in His eyes he kisses their wounds

And says in a trembling voice to his white angels

These are my sons, these are the sons

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