Log Cabin Chronicles

Childish Valor

ELISHA PORAT

A slender switch in my hand
I set out for the field:
To decapitate the
thornbushes: flowering oyster thistles
and prickly milk thistles, delicate of
down. Oh, the intoxicating
power of a dreaming
child. With an imaginary sword
I strike about me;
The summer globe thistles, globeless
Now, and the pinkish
Horse thistles. The upraised switch
Whistles, and with sharp thrusts
Head are severed. And only
The path, blood soaked,
Along with has passed the staff
Of my strength and valor, only
It remains behind me.

Suddenly green and tempting me
back: crowned in valor,
sated by glory, an ear
deafened by fanfare, come
cruel wild child,
and join bath
time at the children house.

Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner

Elisha Porat writes on a kibbutz in Israel.

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Copyright © 2008 Elisha Porat