Yehuda Amichai

Autobiography In The Year 1952

My father built a great worry around me like a dock Once I left it before I was finished And he remained with his great, empty worry. And my mother—like a tree on the shore Between her arms outstretched for me. And in '31 my hands were merry and small And in '41 they learned to use a rifle And when I loved my first love My thoughts were like a bunch of colored balloons And the girl's white hand clutched them all With a thin string—and then let them fly. And in '51 the movement of my life Was like the movement of many slaves rowing a ship, And the face of my father like the lantern at the end of a parting train, And my mother closed all the clouds in her brown closet. And I climbed up my street, And the twentieth century was the blood in my veins, Blood that wanted to go out to many wars, Through many openings. It pounds on my head from inside And moves in angry waves to my heart. But now, in the spring of '52, I see More birds have returned than left last winter. And I return down the slope of the mountain To my room where the woman's body is heavy And full of time.

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