Wednesday Poem

The Page is a Landscape

I place a few shrubs in the south, (close
to my chest). Further north on a random
white hill, a young woman from the past
sits and plucks petals
from a daisy she picked very near where
the pen touches now.

It’s not easy to contain all one sees. The eye-
fan trembles from strain
and sun. The greatest temptation
is to abandon everything and slide into silence
like a dune, toward oblivion
and I would have unless I had known
the page would not disappear.

This is how we live. Dark
or discovered, by turns. You, me, the bastard
page, beloved, a reminder not to leave,
and the young woman too (grown, meanwhile,
and more beautiful) who has finished plucking flower petals
and floats gently now
between the lines –

her arms spread wide, hair
breathing in the blue afternoon light.
Don’t worry. She

by Lyor Shternberg
from The Page is a Landscape
publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Tel Aviv, 2004
translation: Lisa Katz
first published on Poetry International, 2012