Yehuda Amichai

A Letter Of Recommendation

On summer nights I sleep naked in Jerusalem. My bed stands on the brink of a deep valley without rolling down into it. In the daytime I walk around with the Ten Commandments on my lips like an old tune someone hums to himself. Oh touch me, touch me, good woman! That’s not a scar you feel under my shirt, that’s a letter of recommendation, folded up tight, from my father: “All the same, he’s a good boy, and full of love.” I remember my father waking me for early prayers. He would do it by gently stroking my forehead, not by tearing away the blanket. Since then I love him even more. And as his reward, may he be wakened gently and with love on the Day of the Resurrection.

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