A Child is Something Else Again

Translated by Chana Bloch
A child is something else again. Wakes up
in the afternoon and in an instant he's full of words,
in an instant he's humming, in an instant warm,
instant light, instant darkness.

A child is Job. They've already placed their bets on him
but he doesn't know it. He scratches his body
for pleasure. Nothing hurts yet.
They're training him to be a polite Job,
to say "Thank you" when the Lord has given,
to say "You're welcome" when the Lord has taken away.

A child is vengeance.
A child is a missile into the coming generations.
I launched him: I'm still trembling.

A child is something else again: on a rainy spring day
glimpsing the Garden of Eden through the fence,
kissing him in his sleep,
hearing footsteps in the wet pine needles.
A child delivers you from death.
Child, Garden, Rain, Fate.

Yehuda Amichai, "A Child Is Something Else Again" from The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai. Copyright © 2015 by Yehuda Amichai.  Reprinted by permission of Hana Amichai.
Source: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2015)
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