Log Cabin Chronicles

Lily Bulbs


On Memorial Day I knelt
To plant Lily bulbs in flowerpots,
And put them in the concrete holders
By the small military corner at our cemetery.
When they sprout, to shout at me,
I'll hide them again inside the soil.
Sitting on the stone-bench, I watch every day,
How green and fresh they rise,
How the flowering white candles
Are so shiny in autumn.
How their blossoms become yellow,
Only to wither, fade, and I remain unconsoled.
And a year later, in the spring, I will kneel
Again to the Lily flowerpots, to see
How they cracked the dirt, and
How the clay pottery collapsed,
Broken, never to be mended.

Translated from the Hebrew by Ward Kelley and the author.

Elisha Porat writes on a kibbutz in Israel.

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Copyright © 2004 Elisha Porat