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  • CITY SPRING Katrina

    Yesterday, Sunday,
    I walked out my front door
    and Spring came and sat
    next to me
    on my front porch.

    He was not Spring
    Of my youth.
    He did not smell of blossoms
    nor of first fruit.
    He did not glow and glitter
    under a cloudless sky.

    The air he brought with him
    was not transparent, not clean.
    Birds did not follow him to nest
    in my soft maple tree.

    He put his dusty head on my
    lap and sighed sadly.
    He smelled of dry concrete
    and acid steel.
    His eyes were glossy reflecting
    the cold marble of the city.
    His voice, like a boom box;
    Shrill and brassy.
    Pieces of dog-shit stuck to
    his feet.

    He apologised about his bad smell,
    untidy appearance, unpleasant voice –
    he asked my forgiveness
    for being ugly.

    Of course, I would have preferred
    to sit with him under an olive tree,
    watch a bright azure sky,
    breathe fragrance of fields,
    walk hand in hand with him
    on the beach, dipping my sore toes
    in warm sand, smelling the
    salt-spiced-air, watch with him the
    sunset over the sea–
    perhaps, merely look for– shells.

    I didn't tell him all that.
    He was so pathetic.
    I patted his head and told him
    not to worry. He is Spring,
    he is welcome–
    smelly or fragrant,
    dirty or pure,
    as long as he is Spring.

    He wrapped himself around me
    in a hazy stench of cars fumes
    and blasting noises,
    he kept me company for the
    rest of the day.

    For a long time I sat with him,
    reading a book, glancing
    from time to time at the tiny buds
    that appeared overnight
    on the soft-maple-tree.

    I prayed for one bird to appear.
    Give me a sign.
    Welcome spring.
    A bird did not appear,
    but the neighbours' dog
    barged in, crapped on my yard,
    smirked at me, yellow teethed,
    then trotted away.
    I thought Spring would die
    of shame...

    This poem is translated from the Hebrew by the poet
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