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Philip Hyams


Mongrel, they shot you with
Pellets that pulped your heart
And tufts of your fur flew up
Into the early morning light.

Our kibbutz had too many hounds
That year and not enough cats to
Catch the mice.


The Sachnah oasis where we swam
And lay:
Sol burned us from our noses
To our soles.
Crushed olives under feet.
Dates falling from the sky.

The next day:
Back to that octopus Tel-Aviv.
Return to the ghetto!

Mea Shearim

Who are you who prolong
This agony?
With your black flying-saucer hat
You skim our people's history.

Daubed on a wall of Jerusalem stone:
"Zionism is diametrically opposed to

So what are you doing here?

You are the three percent suffering.
You are the conscience of the obsolete.
You are the victim of dogma and
The slave of belief.

May the ghetto burn like
A dry bale of hay
And may its fumes blow forever,
Forever, faraway.

The shadow Jews of Mea Shearim
only used to pray.

Now they dictate.

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