November 06

When She Goes Out Alone

Hedva Harehavi

Nights when she goes out alone
what does she want.
To hunt lions?
Drill the ground?
Hear unearthly voices?
Receive warning signals from the sea?

What does she want.
To feel human beings moment to moment?
(A late-night café reminds her of thorns.)
To balance water briefly in her hands?
To fill the sun with strange fowl?

What does she want.
Gentleness has no power.
That's why she walks on tiptoe.
Sometimes she commands convoys
of red dogs
she has painted
and thinks she's their escort.
Sometimes she sits in a pink flute
and thinks she's asking for help
she needs air--

what does she want.


Image: Moontree by Jay Michaelson


Hedva Harehavi is a Jerusalemite artist and poet. She graduated from Bezal'el Art Academy in 1967. She has published several volumes of poetry, and is the recipient of many awards for her poetry and her art including the Prime Minister Award, and the Eshkol Award for Creativity in Poetry. Her work has been translated into Russian, Arabic and English. This poem is translated by Tsipi Keller as part of her forthcoming anthology of lesser-known Israeli poets. Previous poems from this anthology have been published each month for the last year in Zeek.