A Mirror on a Stone

A Mirror on a Stone

From the Autumn 1965 issue


Now that my sight comes back to me again,

I see, and feel it with my body’s every part,

that, like a mirror on a stone breaks up to bits,

so, breaking with a bang, did break my heart


Each of the pieces surely does not cease

to be a witness to my being till I'm gone.

— Don't trample on me yet in judgment, Time,

until I have picked up the splinters, one by one.


I'll pick them up and piece them, bit by bit,

together till my fingers hurt with blood.

However I may try my art, to make them fit,

they will show up my face forever cracked.


Now only, in my sadness, as I comprehend

the painful process, I begin to feel the pain

of wanting once to see myself reflected whole in these,

the scattered splinters cast upon the seven seas…


Translated from the Yiddish by J. Sonntag.