Realization

By YEHUDIT BEN-ZVI HELLER

If I forget you Jerusalem, may my right hand wither away. . .
If I do not remember you . . .

—Psalms 137:5-6

To write in Jerusalem
in a garden
with a wind that comes from the mountain
under a canopy of grapevines  
sun everywhere outside
light and shade within
and the sounds
from the quarry and from the street—
the quiet
within the promise
that everything continues

and the time—
is a gust occasionally changing direction,
it is the fact of the large white stone over there,
it is this garden wafting yellow roses,
it is the invitation of the wooden bench near the fence
its face and its back engraved with vows—

and I
a clock-hand now.
Co-translated by the poet and Stephen Clingman

Yehudit Ben-Zvi Heller is the author of Ha’isha Beme’il Sagol (The Woman in the Purple Coat), Kan Gam Bakayitz Hageshem Yored (Here, Even in the Summer It Rains), and Mehalekhet al Khut shel Mayim (Pacing on a Thread of Water).

Stephen Clingman is Professor of English at the Universitiy of Massachusetts. His most recent book is The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary.

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Realization

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