Literature and Poetry/
Yom Kippur

Bronia Ron

To Avner on Day Thirty

Sdamot, Platform of the Kibbutz Movement, Volume 53, Winter 5734, p. 134-135

Winter came with abrupt suddenness.

When you left us, it was still summer.

Only a month has since passed, but it was still summer.

When you learned that war had broken out, you were in a swimming pool.

You were that, when I was notified the bad news.

When you came to me, you were still wearing a wet bathing suit: “Mother, war has broken out,” you said.

 

Winter came with abrupt suddenness.

It will be a very sad winter, the saddest winter.

The morning air is cold and clear.

The vista, reflected by the transparent morning air, is still as beautiful as it was.

But something has changed. There is no pleasure in it.

When you went, it was still summer,

And only three days have since passed.

But between this summer and this winter

A whole world divides.

 

Winter came with abrupt suddenness.

Summer was here when you left.

But between this summer and this winter

No autumn separates, as it always did. Between this summer and this winter

War separates. Between this summer and this winter

Death separates.

Many smiles died in this autumn,

Many smiles died.

And your smile died too, my son.

 

Winter came with abrupt suddenness.

It was summer when you left.

Your smile was still real, alive, in the summer when you left.

Now your smile only still exists on photograph paper.

Only in our imagination it has existence. Only in our imagination it still lives.

I look at the empty doorway and seek your smile beneath the beam,

The smile that had to bear the head above. But in vain.

You smile died together with that summer.

Only on photograph paper it still exists.

 

Winter came with abrupt suddenness.

It was summer when you left.

But between this summer and this winter no autumn separates, as it always did.

Between this summer and this winter war separates.

Between this summer and this winter death separates.

It will be a sad winter, the saddest winter.

And after winter will come spring, but it will never again be spring as it always used to be.

And then summer will come.

This summer, when you left.

But the worst season will be autumn.

 

Mother

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