Fragments – A Tribute to Dan Pagis

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A poet died today;
A katyusha fell not far away.

They dug a grave for the poet,
And filled the crater left by the rocket.

Earth smoothed over.
No poet.
No rocket.

Waked from sleep last night I heard it
Whistle and land with reverberating boom.
Today, I see dark, little gashes left by shrapnel.
Metal tore at metal, and metal won.

Children will point:
See, that’s where it fell.

I met him at a cocktail party. His brow was
Wide and shiny. And his smile bitter-sweet and quiet.
Today, I read his words, dark little gashes on paper.
Words, heart, brain, memory, all essential.

Children will point:
See, Dan Pagis wrote this.

“I tie my tied shoelaces / Button my buttoned coat”
Dan Pagis died today; a katyusha fell not far away.

Hanna Trigère, Kfar Giladi, June 30 1986