Log Cabin Chronicles

Guardian Angel


In the 40s, in the Valley of Jezreel,
while visiting relatives in Zeronia
my mother took me along
into the women`s section of the public showers.
The six year old in me was compelled
to watch how above, between the ivory
columns of muscular thighs, the thick forest
of womanhood wildy grows.
And then, like in the movies: a split second
before he desecrated the open robes
of some stray mom - I slipped on a wet floor,
suffused with the good odors of soap,
and the angel who blankets the eyes of the newborn
instantly blanketed me with a hard blow,
a torn eyebrow and a bleeding cut.
But there are nights when I must return
to that same arena, go back once more
to the old crime, and without a watchful angel
I turn back, peek at the forbidden:
without his hand obscuring my memory,
and without the blessed miracle of his vigilance.

Translated from the Hebrew by Tsipi Kele.

Elisha Porat can be contacted at porat_el@einhahoresh.org.il.

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