‘Body Count’ & ‘A Parade of Elephants’ by Ruthie vital Gilad

soft cartel april 2018

Translated by Natalie Feinstein

Body Count

They’re aligning the chairs
At the Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial Square
Adjusting the loudspeakers
To echo
‘God Full of Mercy’.

It’s the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
God is full
And the chairs are empty.
Millions of chairs are empty.

Can anyone align that?

A Parade of Elephants

We went up north to envelop ourselves in a winter Galilee.
A few puffy clouds came down from the sky,
Stepping on earth for the very first time
Treading with care, just like us.
It was you who said, they’re a silent parade of elephants crossing
A forest
And I thought to myself,
I should have said that.

Your image stuck to the corners of my mind.
I thought about the novel “Circles in a Forest”,
I thought these were in fact elephant ghosts, a Galilee observatory
of the heavens,
A phantom army… Lord of the Rings.
I thought about those places through which this parade shall
About the couples who would insist on enveloping them with images
And I thought about me and you.

I should have said that, too.

Ruthie vital Gilad was born in Israel in 1963, and spent her childhood in the Philippines, England, Australia and Israel. She is a graduate of the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts. She writes books for children and youth and leads writing workshops.