Vered Tohar (1969-) is an Israeli poet, of the third generation to Holocaust
survivors from Romania. Her poems have been published in various journals. Her
latest book is Snow and Cherries (Bitaon Shira Publishing, 2018),
a collection of Hebrew-Romanian minimalist prose on Jewish life in Romania before and after WWII.
Her upcoming book of poems (Pardes Publishing) describes the Israeli feminine experience.
You waited for me with patience for so many years.
You knew I would eventually arrive;
You knew I couldn't keep myself away forever.
After all, you know me better than anyone else.
Even before I was born
You already lived in the porosities of memories;
You were transplanted in my womb;
You infiltrated my ovaries.
You always knew:
When I finally returned to you
I would be relieved.
Krakow is peaceful now:
An air-conditioned hotel,
A noiseless elevator,
Krakow is peaceful now.
The glass has been swept away,
The smell has vanished,
It's been a long time since then.
Tomorrow will be a lovely day; the bartender smiles at me.
You should go out, get to know the city.
But I already know the city,
I wanted to tell him.
My blood still sparkles here
Between the pavement's gaps.
Perhaps the weight of the guilt
Defeated the material sciences.
The earth is cracked here;
Her belly bursts with human corpses.
Oh, mother nature
The troubles have slit your face
Because you saw
But could not respond.
You are still here, years since then,
Lying sprawled over the eternal planes,
Astounded to again meet
Those who come seeking
Something which no longer exists.