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  • (in the woods. poem 3 after the war)

    THE ROCK (epyllion – a little epic poem)

    ...They were only a short distant from The Rock, 
    when the shooting began. 
    The soldier cursed. 
    “Run!” he cried, 
    shoving Orna toward Ari and Alya. 
    Orna stumbled. Ari caught her hand. 
    They watched the soldier swing around 
    firing towards of the gnarled acacia. 
    They watched him fall. 
    They heard him hit the ground.
    They ran amidst a spray of bullets 
    ricochetting, whistling, lodging 
    in the barks of trees, bouncing off rocks, 
    hitting the ground. 
    Shots and shouts. Hell.
    Alya stopped running, she stood 
    rooted to the earth. 
    Her face was lifted, her eyes staring 
    as if in a trance, far into the darkening sky
    above her head.
    Still running, Orna turned,
    "Alya! Get down!” she screamed.
    Alya didn’t move.
    “My God. Alya!” 
    A bullet struck Orna between the shoulder blades.
    Her body leaped forward hitting The Rock. 
    Three more bullets entered her body, 
    painting her white sweater dark purple. 
    On the flat surface of The Rock 
    she lay silent, facing the sky, 
    her blue eyes wide open, 
    her face? 
    Her face, the face of the child 
    she still yearned to be.
    Ari’s body spun around, 
    struck the moist ground. 
    With his fingernails he clawed the earth;
    with his last breath dragged himself 
    to where Alya lay. 
    He collapsed at her side, 
    his head barely touching her. 
    He knew; he was hit in the head.
    A voice in is head: touch her face... Can’t move... Can’t see... 
    so dark... 
    The clamour in his head blinded him. 
    He vomited. 
    Then, relief. No pain. Silence. 
    Dan? Dan?
    At the foot of the Rock, 
    Alya lay on her back, her fingers moving, 
    caressing the silky grass. 
    With feverish eyes she watched the fog 
    descend over the trees top, descending slowly, 
    enveloping the universe; a fog made out of light. 
    And through the fog her father’s voice a voice: 
    “Come, let us go for a heavenly walk.”
    She lost consciousness.
    Dizzy with pain she awoke.
    What’s happening. Where was she hit? 
    Was this blood? Was it the end? 
    This smell in the air? Rain? 
    Was it rain on her face? 
    She couldn’t move her legs. 
    Her hand groped around, 
    her fingers touching Ari’s head. 
    She summoned all her will power, 
    lifted herself up, supporting her 
    trembling body on her left elbow. 
    She looked down at his inert face. 
    “Ari,” she called his name softly, “Ari.” 
    His eyes were staring at the sky. 
    She touched his cheeks. 
    His face still warm, his flesh firm. 
    Was it blood on her hand?
    Now... So easy to break the cord of life... 
    Now... a little push... A last breath…
    A mere glide from here to there...
    She collapsed. 
    The silence and darkness were heavy.
    She was sinking fast. 
    Suddenly, behind her closed eyelids 
    a blast of light. 
    She opened her eyes. Lightning? 
    The air was flushed with lightning, the sky white.
    I want to live. I want to live, her mind screamed. 
    “Orna!” she called, Orna!”
    Somewhere in the woods 
    an owl screamed.
    She turned her head. 
    Orna laying on The Rock, 
    the growing darkness falling, 
    shrouding her body layer by layer 
    like gauze, her face illuminated
    by lightning looked ghostly.
    Orna. Orna.
    Alya lost her courage. 
    She lay still, mad with pain. 
    To  sleep... Not to know... So much fear... Gill... Gill...
    Don’t be afraid. I’m here. It’s only a bad dream. 
    Here. That’s better. 
    Nothing bad will happen to my little girl. 
    Shhh. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day, says Gill.
    Suddenly she smiled her extraordinary smile. 
    In a clear, almost melodious voice she said, 
    ”Good-bye Gill.”
    She closed her eyes.
    Ari. Orna. Gill. Orna Orna Orna. 
    Don’t tell on me, Orna, please don’t tell on me…
    She heard voices. Familiar voices.
    I can’t. Hurry. Hurry.
    She fainted and awoke, and again fainted. 
    After sometime, when her own screams 
    pulled her back from the night into semi-conscious 
    numbness of cold and pain, 
    she saw like in a dream the 
    Wind torches coming near. 
    She felt the hands lifting her up. 
    Faces swayed above her, blurred masks. 
    And the last thing she was aware of before 
    she sank back into the dark, 
    was the fragrance of the 
    rain, pines, and wet earth.
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