Abraham Sutzkever

(1913 - 2010 / Smorgon, Russian Empire)

A Hundred-Year-Old Woman


Her body — clay. Freed of hate, of love.
Her crow's look, beyond all nay or yea.
Her body — clay. A formless blob
Covered with canvas, as in an atelier.

Facing her, the noisy swirl of
A carousel. The background flax is.
And like the carousel — the images in her,
But liberated from the groaning axis.

Take it easy… The carousel is outside
The old woman's bones. And years away:
A dream that no one will divine,
Free of hate, of love, of yea, of nay.

— A man will soon roll up his sleeves,
Pull the canvas off the clay
Which has no more a living hue,
Where all the creases blindly stray —

And masterly, re-knead the woman's body.
On the bench, a Venus will appear.
And he will leave her just two small
Fleshless silver earrings, as a souvenir.

Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

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