I am walking. I am always walking. Where
am I walking? I am not here.
From where is this kindling in my arms?
This fire? They are not mine. I am not mine. In vain
– I am in your footsteps, in vain…
I know, my son, I am the father.
I lead you, the two of us walk together.
– I am not asleep. I am not awake.
I am asleep. My heart is awake
a ram bound by its black ribs.
A still stutter falls silent among the boughs
of time entangled in its day and night…
– Yes, I am here.
From “In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner” translated by Rachel Tzvia Back (Hebrew Union College Press, in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014).