Sunday, January 08, 2006

Karen Alkalai-Gut's poem on the time after her father had a stroke - and, in a way, on what may await Sharon:

January 6, 2006

My cousin told me she didn't sleep all night worrying about Sharon, and I must admit I too am oddly disturbed. With all my suspicion of him and ambivalence, he signifies some sort of stability, and his bold actions of the last year - because incomplete - arouse a sense of hunger for a sense of wholeness.

But the state that he will be in, even if he survives, will not allow for it, and the humiliation of that should be saved him.


My father fell in Babel
from the tower
and now every hour
tries a different way to let me know
something. What is it? I ask.
Do you want Mother?
Money? Does it start with m?
Ah you want the bathroom!

mmmmm and a nod. "Don't put words in his mouth!" My mother groans.
"He doesn't know what he wants," The aide
assures me. And then a smell
rises that proves he does.

In the nursing home
I kiss his quivering cheeks, lock
with those clear eyes so much like mine,
and leave him
alone, crumpled by the tower

in exile

Everyone I speak to is traumatized, whether they listen to the news or not. Today at the cafe, Nona, no one mentioned it, yet everyone was short, edgy. The vet - who always jokes with me - was silent after he told us that he was taking the news of Sharon hard, and when i told him of my father he asked about his fate as if he knew nothing of medicine. People are scared and hungry for even the most irrelevant details as if their own father were in danger. The regular channels are broadcasting the same news over and over.

What the media should be doing now is getting people used to the possibility that Sharon will not be PM again and that it won't kill us. We have any number of people who could fill his shoes - If I like others complain all the time that we don't have leaders, its also because people are not given the opportunity to lead. The only people I'm scared of are the ones who have led and failed, like Bibi.


My own father's still at the hospital. One thing I caught him saying when he was at home for the New Year's was something like cherez dve medvedi instead of cherez dve nedeli ('in two bears' instead of 'in two weeks')... Heartbreaking.

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