They came at the close of autumn, Moslem refugees from Bosnia
given shelter in this country, in the house next door, by a Yugoslav woman in Baka.
After autumn came winter,
evergreen firs, cherry, pear, almond, plum
weathered it side by side, a magic trick of the gardener, who did
as befits a stalwart Palestinian, who built the house
now home to the Yugoslav woman, Jewish,
who took in a Moslem girl from Bosnia, whose Moslem forebears
hid her from the Nazis when she was young. Then came summer.
The refugees left.
The old man from Yugoslavia died.
In the garden, figures of tailor’s dummies fell apart
– all his life he’d made them – a severed leg, a bald head,
punctured torso, there in the garden, back and forth,
as if to show what man has done to man.
Notes on this poem
Baka, Jerusalem 1993