(These poems are by the Israeli poet Rachel)

BEHOLD, HER BLOOD IN MY BLOOD FLOWS

Behold, her blood in my blood flows,
Behold, her voice in me sings —
Rachel, shepherdess of Lavan’s sheep,
Rachel — mother of my mother.

My house seems too narrow,
and the city strange,
because her shawl fluttered
in wilderness-winds.

So, I continue on my path
certain of this,
because my feet keep memories
from then, from then.

PERHAPS IT ALL NEVER HAPPENED?

Perhaps it all never happened?
Perhaps
I never rose at dawn to work the garden
with my face sweating?

Perhaps,
in long, scorching harvest-days,
atop a cart laden high with sheaves,
I never gave my voice in song?

Never bathed in azure stillness
in the purity of my Kinneret?
O, my Kinneret,
Were you real, or was I dreaming a dream?