“Sea Squill Bulbs” by Elisha Porat

Elisha Porat

          to Ward Kelley

On Memorial Day I kneel
to plant sea squill bulbs in pots,
to place on the cement surfaces
in the small military section.
And when they peek at me and call
I place them once again in dirt,
sit on the lump of stone and watch
how they grow green:
how the white flowering candles
glow in the fall,
how their leaves yellow, unconsoled.
And in the spring, after a year, I lean over the pots
I see how they have cracked the clay,
and how the shards have collapsed
and lie in dispersed, asunder.

—Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006

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