Coarse Edges

Gili Haimovich

La-La-La – Lullaby

By now we were supposed to be tucked into being parents, owning our own house.

Instead,

our homeless auras linger on the wet streets,

the only blankie we drag through the day and its tears.

“Mi-san-thro-pic, mi-san-thro-pic,” I lullaby myself, cuddling you.

“Misanthropic,” I smear my lullaby over a whole day, an era.

 

Comfort  Food

I practice on my kitten what I would answer

If I would ever have a child and he or she would ask me:

“Mum, where do your words come from”?

Well, my Canadian kitten,

My English words come from above,

From the emptiness.

From the void

In my mouth.

Between the upper and the lower

Gums.

“But where does your Hebrew come from, Mum? With me you always speak Hebrew”.

Well, my child,

(The child would not be Canadian nor Israeli, but just a child),

My Hebrew is lying in my tummy,

Like comfort food.

Waiting for you.

 

The Milk March

The milk march has started.

We race to reach the shelter

that will protect us from our parental drowsiness,

that will let us race our toddlers instead of each other.

Too enthusiastic,

too happy,

children;

it is hard to keep up with joy.

 

Sideways Roots

The sidewalks are crooked

from the trees’ roots

concealed beneath them.

The fruits on the trees look like bird droppings

and only the birds can eat them.

Soon it’ll rain,

the dark fruits will give the sidewalks a shiner.

Those who walk without hanging onto a stroller,

may not slip it as easily,

yet won’t be able to maneuver among the squashy obstacles.

We’re not like the trees.

We talk about everything.

Between sleep to slip we slide.

Suspended on a slip of the tongue

that becomes a beak.

 

It Shows

And this one, its roots are showing.

All ragged and murky it’s exposed

in a play

ground.

When children step on it,

bare feet and intentions,

is the tree cringing?

Is its uncovered roots quivering

to the touch of more than air, less than soil?

Who then holds who?

Is it the tree holding its ground?

Or maybe it’s the earth attempting

to contain the tree’s branching?

We don’t call our relationship a love-hate one

and yet, it may seem as if

I

play

you

in between them.

We can put one child of ours on each side of the wooden plank.

Don’t let me be the one who is on the side that totters.

Or can we, stand indifferent,

like this evergreen tree,

(its top is never murky),

that stands like it can wait for rain.

And keep on waiting,

without even being thankful when it finally arrives.

We both know,

the teeter-totter is level only when it’s down.

You and I, we can’t tell,

how much living is there, still, in its nervous system,

in these narrow coarse edges

of

existence.


Gili Haimovich is an internationally published poet.  She has published the chapbook Living on a Blank Page (Blue Angel Press, 2008) which exists in a second edition that includes a selection of Haimovich’s photographic work. She has five volumes of poetry in Hebrew. The last one, titled Baby Girl, came out this spring and received a grant in Israel. Her work appears or is forthcoming in journals such as International Poetry Review, LRC – Literary Review of CanadaAsymptoteRecours au Poème (with translations to French), Poetry Repair, Bakery, TOK1: Writing the New Toronto, Ezra Magazine, Cahoots, In My Bed, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist JournalWomen in JudaismLilith, Stellar Showcase Journal and Writing in the Margins in addition to publications in main Israeli journals. Gili works as a translator as well as an interdisciplinary arts therapist and educator.