Two poems, written in the 1980s, for Yom HaZikaron — Israel Memorial Day. They are from my book, The Garden: Where Wolves and Lions Do No Harm to the Sheep and Deer.

Life, Jewish Life, That is

I. Life,
Jewish Life, that is,
in Israel,
is being a soldier with only a shoulder sling
on Ben Yehuda Street, sipping coffee with friends,
and feeling bad for Yossi
blown away by a car bomb in Lebanon.

II. Life,
Jewish Life, that is,
in Israel,
is coming home on one-day leave
and hoping all-night love
is lucky enough and God’s good odds
to make a baby
while feeling angry Yossi’s wife
is 37 with three of her own
with little chance she’ll find another husband
after she’s through mourning for Yossi
blown away by a car bomb in Lebanon.

Unable to Remember which Terrorist Attack, the Poet Still Recalls

We are gunned down again,
(How they say we love wallowing pig-like
in the swill of self-pitied victimhood.)
A 6-year old. A 3-year old.
Too dead too soon
to die with dignity.

It feels like, today
the Grand Old Pioneers will never die in peace,
surrounded by their Sabras
xxxxxlMotti (dead, age 4)
xxand Rachel (8)
xxand Avi (5)
xxxxxxxxxxalso dead,
xxxxxxxxxall so dead.