“Standing In line For A Show”: Dahlia Ravikovitch

Last Friday marked the tenth anniversary of the death of the great Israeli poet, Dahlia Ravikovitch 1936 – 2005. To celebrate her work I  post some of her poems in my translation.

We are almost at the end of the summer vacation, so for today’s installment I choose to present a poem, from True love (1986), which would be quite familiar to parents of young children.

Standing In Line For A Show

From True Love

Perhaps you and I will not remember,

how we stood together in line,

hand in hand.

And whenever you talked to me

I heard nothing

because of the mothers and children.

And as soon as I bent down to listen

You were already done.

So we couldn’t exchange a word.


Child don’t be afraid,

stand aside.

And you were afraid

and you gave me your hand.

And the line! The line!

It was a line that no one could cut.

Fear filled your eyes

and I was afraid that you’d cry.

And suddenly you said, it is already four thirty.

I panicked, how come four thirty?

And you became stiff and desperate

and the line, the line raged and didn’t move.


your almond eyes

were stronger than wind blowing at my back.

I knew nothing good would come out of it.

And suddenly you said that you no longer wanted.


We went back in taxi like the rich.

Inside my hand I held a pearl .



About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. .