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I, may I rest in peace - I, who am still living, say,

May I have peace in the rest of my life.

I want peace right now while I'm still alive.

I don't want to wait like that pious man who wished for one leg

of the golden chair of Paradise, I want a four-legged chair

right here, a plain wooden chair. I want the rest of my peace now.

I have lived out my life in wars of every kind: battles without

and within, close combat, face-to-face, the faces always

my own, my lover-face, my enemy-face.

Wars with the old weapons - sticks and stones, blunt axe, words,

dull ripping knife, love and hate,

and wars with newfangled weapons - machine gun, missile,

words, land mines exploding, love and hate.

I don't want to fulfill my parents' prophecy that life is war.

I want peace with all my body and all my soul.

Rest me in peace.

I, May I Rest in Peace

Chana Bloch & Chana Kronfeld, translation from
the Hebrew written by Yehuda Amichai


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