Tel Aviv 1935

We present this work in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Leah Goldberg
1911 – 1970


Back then the masts on the houses were
like the masts of Columbus’ ships,
and every raven that stood on their tips,
heralded a different continent.

The knapsacks of travelers walked the streets
and the language of a foreign country
pierced the heatwave
like the blade of a cold knife.

How can the air of this small city
lift up so many
childhood memories, cast off loves,
rooms emptied out somewhere?

Like pictures blackening inside a camera
they turned—pure winter nights,
rainy summer nights across the sea,
and the grey mornings of the cities.

But footsteps beat behind your back,
the marching tune of a foreign army.
And it seems—if you just turn your head, in the sea
your city’s church is sailing.

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