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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


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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