The Arty Semite

POEM: 'Voices'

By Tuvia Ruebner

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I am walking. I am always walking. Where
am I walking? I am not here.

From where is this kindling in my arms?
This fire? They are not mine. I am not mine. In vain

– I am in your footsteps, in vain…

I know, my son, I am the father.
I lead you, the two of us walk together.

– I am not asleep. I am not awake.

I am asleep. My heart is awake
a ram bound by its black ribs.

A still stutter falls silent among the boughs
of time entangled in its day and night…

– Yes, I am here.

No!

From “In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner” translated by Rachel Tzvia Back (Hebrew Union College Press, in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014).


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