Yehuda Amichai

A Jewish Cemetery In Germany

On a little hill amid fertile fields lies a small cemetery, a Jewish cemetery behind a rusty gate, hidden by shrubs, abandoned and forgotten. Neither the sound of prayer nor the voice of lamentation is heard there for the dead praise not the Lord. Only the voices of our children ring out, seeking graves and cheering each time they find one--like mushrooms in the forest, like wild strawberries. Here's another grave! There's the name of my mother's mothers, and a name from the last century. And here's a name, and there! And as I was about to brush the moss from the name-- Look! an open hand engraved on the tombstone, the grave of a kohen, his fingers splayed in a spasm of holiness and blessing, and here's a grave concealed by a thicket of berries that has to be brushed aside like a shock of hair from the face of a beautiful beloved woman.

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