On the 20th Yahrzeit of Yitzhak Rabin


On the death of Rabin


Death itself is no surprise, of course,

least of all my own –

oh, but I hear you crying out

as you take the wound with me,

you too,

bled by the years, a hundred,

a thousand years of war –

this madness that would breach the garden wall

and fire into the wedding feast.


How quickly hands forget their gifts –

empty of flowers, of poems, of candles

yet to be lit;

empty of emptiness,

again you carry fists, you shout,

you run to my body as if it were in pain,

or still belonged to me.



Destiny has led me

to this ancient well, these stones washed clean,

this water cool and sweet, and flowing out

to any who thirst;

soon I will wet my face and hands,

and drink.


If only I could share the cup with you,

my people, all the world,

the cup of peace.


But I cannot and this is my sorrow.

And so I keep asking to return, I keep trying

to slip back into that broken body

even as death sinks deeper –

squeeze back in, like a child

who tries to crawl into his baby bed of years ago

and he cannot fit.


But know that I live, and so will you

in Jerusalem,

the holy dream made real

where we dwell together in peace,

all the sons and daughters of Abraham,

and all the children of God.


The new life opens with such welcome,

yet I would return, if I were allowed,

to the blood and dust of my ravaged land,

the struggle and the joy.

Death consumes only a particle of me;

my spirit goes on – sharing with you

the song of peace.


– Jane Galin

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