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A Cracked Statuette
translated from the Hebrew by Asher Harris

In the summer of seventy-nine,
Sheltered in the shade, on a step in Market
Street, in the shop of a Christian Arab,
While my hand was stroking the halo of hair
Of a graven statuette -
A startling voice suddenly broke out,
A young announcer begging, pleading: hurry, whoever is able,
Whoever is near, run to the tower
Of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher -
Through the lattice you may know her:
Wrapped all in black but her hair is fair,
And her car still pulses below her.
And when I arrived - I was late -
With those who were called to her aid,
The helpers, the radio was screaming,
And all the city was frozen, holding its breath -

Already she lay there, stretched out in the square:
Innocent, beautiful, and wrapped all about in the shining
Radiance of a cracked statuette.

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