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Words of Sympathy > Words for Child

My Mother on Her Sickbed
by Yehuda Amichai


My mother on her sickbed with the lightness
and hollowness of a person
Who has already said goodbye at an airport
In the beautiful and quiet area
Between parting and takeoff.

My mother on her sickbed.
All she had in her life is now
Like empty bottles in front of the door
That will show once more with colored labels
What filled them with joy and sadness.

Her last words, Take the flowers out of the room,
She said seven days before her death,
Then she closed herself for seven days,
Like the seven days of mourning.

But even her death created in her room
A warm hominess
With her sleeping face and the cup with its teaspoon
And the towel and the book and the glasses,
And her hand on the blanket, the same
hand that felt my forehead, in childhood.

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