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Owls

Zehava Khalfa (2019)

1.

In my childhood

There were owls sitting on the lamppost

And my father buried a broken tooth with me.

while you said that they curse.

And we children,

We threw stones at them.

The heavens are open, Aba said,

You can make a wish

I buried the tooth and I whispered

I wish I were.

In front of the house that keeps expanding.

With a green garbage can getting filled up again.

 

2.

Owls like Father’s hands

Huge eyes and feathers brown

Like his face.

They howled, we threw stones.

 

3.

Once, on a Shabbat morning

I heard you cry

forced sound but clear.

 

4.

Owls on an electric pole

And a soft neon light.

Yoram asked me: show me and

I will show you.

In a storeroom without a ceiling

Which witnessed how

A dog became crippled.

And it panted

And it sighed

Until it died,

Until it died.

 

5.

Owls like a lost secret in concrete

Like milk teeth lying far beneath.

And aba said: The heaven are open,

Make a wish

And I whispered I wish,

One day.

 

6.

Aba,

his voice was lost

Owls were gone forever.

The garbage can is filled up with children’s drawings,

And you are still controlling with loud voices around.

The house is expanding at both sides

And the grass rotted under a green carpet.

 

7.

Tell me where are you storing them,

Open boxes in my head

Memories soaked in my soul,

Once in a while I put them straight

Pulling out a wrinkled one,

Airing it out and return it to its place.

 

8.

Tell me where are the owls today,

And father’s voice

was it recorded in the photons of light?

Everything was taken away and burned in the space.

That’s what Yossi said, and he promised:

One day we will build a new past.

And will restore everything to its previous strength,

Zion will be built,

And the sound will sound like in the old days again,

Owls will come back to my home.

And you,

You will cry softly once more.

From reluctant touch, early in Shabbat morning.

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