Friday Poem

“The evening goes blind, and you are only twenty.”
– Nathan Alterman, Late Afternoon in the Market

Woman Martyr

You are only twenty
and your first pregnancy is a bomb.
Under your broad skirt you are pregnant with dynamite
and metal shavings. This is how you walk in the market,
ticking among the people, you, Andaleeb Takatkah.

Someone tinkered with your head
and launched you toward the city;
even though you come from Bethlehem,
the Home of Bread, you chose a bakery.
And there you pulled the trigger out of yourself,
and together with the Sabbath loaves,
sesame and poppy seed,
you flung yourself into the sky.

Together with Rebecca Fink you flew up
with Yelena Konre’ev from the Caucasus
and Nissim Cohen from Afghanistan
and Suhila Houshy from Iran
and two Chinese you swept along
to death.

Since then, other matters
have obscured your story,
about which I speak all the time
without having anything to say.

by Agi Mishol
from Meevkhar veh-hadashim (New and selected poems)
publisher: Mossad Bialik and Hakibbutz Hameuchad
translation: 2006, Lisa Katz