Yehuda Amichai

:

When Three or Four are Gathered in a Room

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Translated by Robert Friend
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When three or four are gathered in a room
there’s always one who’s standing by a window.
And he must see injustice among the thorns,
fires devouring the hill,
and see how men who went forth whole
are returned to their homes at nightfall like small change.

When three or four are gathered in a room
there’s always one who’s standing by a window:
dark hair above his thoughts,
behind him words;
before him voices wandering without a knapsack,
waterless prophecies, hearts without provisions,
large stones returned,
unread, like letters with
no address and no one to receive them.

Translation copyright © Jean Shapiro Cantu. Reproduced by permission of the translator and Hana Amichai.