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Ein Leben

In the month of her death she stands at the window,

a young woman with a permanent wave, elegant,

thoughtful, gazing outside.

In the brown photograph.

From outside an afternoon cloud of '34

gazes at her, blurred, out of focus,

but faithful to her permanently. From inside

I gaze at her, four years old, almost,

I stop my ball,

and slowly leave the photograph and grow old,

aging cautiously, quietly,

so as not to frighten her.

By Dan Pagis; Translated from the Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier