By Avrom Sutzkever
Translated by Cynthia Ozick
And when I go up as a pilgrim in winter, to recover
the place I was born, and the twin to self I am in my mind,
then I'll go in black snow as a pilgrim to find
the grave of my savior, Yanova.
She'll hear what I whisper, under my breath:
Thank you. You saved my tears from the flame.
Thank you. Children and grandchildren you rescued from death.
I planted a sapling (it doesn't suffice) in your name.
Time in its gyre spins back down the flue
faster than nightmares of nooses can ride,
quicker than nails. And you, my savior, in your cellar you'll hide
me, ascending in dreams as a pilgrim to you.
You'll come from the yard in your slippers, crunching the snow
so I'll know. Again I'm there in the cellar, degraded and low,
you're bringing me milk and bread sliced thick at the edge.
You're making the sign of the cross, I'm making my pencil its pledge.
I should have posted that last night for Yom Ha'Shoah, but I only discovered it today via the Velveteen Rabbi.
Hufflepants was in my neighborhood on Thursday, which turned out to be lovely for me. We met at the mall, where I bought myself Brighton's bronze flip-flops with little turtle adornments because I need a new pair of flip-flops and because I was depressed after shifting my winter and summer clothes in my closet and realizing that I was terribly optimistic last summer when I ordered a couple of pairs of Lilly Pulitzer shorts super-cheap off eBay in thinking I'd lose weight over the winter. Then we had frozen yogurt and came back to my house, where we watched both St Trinians movies which only get better with subsequent viewings.
Adam was only home for a few minutes to walk the neighbor's dog before heading back to school for a nearly-all-night dress rehearsal, which I think he actually needed because he's had a very stressful week coping with his friend's father's death. (Daniel is coming home this weekend to get computer parts and we are all going to the funeral Saturday.) I spent the early evening folding laundry, then taking a long walk during which I saw six deer, two bunnies, three chipmunks and innumerable squirrels and birds. We had leftovers for dinner, then watched Awake which was worth watching just for the skinny-dipping. Here are some National Arboretum photos: