Log Cabin Chronicles

The watermelons of Kakun

ELISHA PORAT

At times it is a sweet treasure, dewy, green
opening at night in the fields of Kakun;
at times it is a bloody treasure seen
sprouting from the reddening earth;
or the humps of a camel team
swinging to and fro, moving up and down.
There, these many days I dream:
diving in my slumber as my ears fill
with the sound of bells ringing in the long-necked beasts.

Bloody land moves under me, shifts,
clinging to me like an unwanted gift:
I hear the yellow-toothed mouth emit a grunt,
I see hands hastily cleaned of the hunt,
swelling in the night, dribbling in the heat
transparent bubble-like objects that grow green and sweet.
Perhaps my fears these many days will be expunged,
the ones that reemerge from forgetfulness, not fazed
even after so many many days.

Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner.

Elisha Porat writes on a kibbutz in Israel.

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