Did you ever see in fields of snow
Frozen Jews, in row upon row?
Breathless they lie, marbled and blue.
The wheels they drag and drag on,
What do they bring, and whose?
They bring along a wagon
Filled with throbbing shoes.
All the noises, all the sounds, asleep.
Under seven streams sleeps fear.
And the elephant, so deep in sleep,
That you can sneak up, cut off his ear.
Signs of paws — an animal has sown
Like blue roses in the white snow's gleam,
When the sun, new risen and unknown,
Like a baby, casts its piercing scream —
Caves, gape open,
Split open under my ax!
Before the bullet hits me —
I bring you gifts in sacks.
How long is the road from myself to myself?
Sometimes half a moment,
That's all. Here is wholeness. But a serpent
On the path between the two gates.
Only smoke, smoke, hovering smoke,
Dead children — puffs of living smoke.
They call: Mama, mama! from the smoke,
Gather me in from all the ends of time, from wood and stone,
Embrace me like letters of a burning prayerbook.
Gather me together — so I can be alone,
Alone with you, and you — in all my limbs.
Digging a pit as one must, as they say.
I seek in the earth a solace today.
A thrust and a cut — and a worm gives a start: