Maya Tevet Dayan’s poem lays bare the loneliness of grief. Uniquely about the state of being un-mothered, it is universal in conveying intense emotional loss. The nuances of feeling and sentiment have been expertly translated from the Hebrew by Rachel Tzvia Back.
It was evening, it was chaos, it was edge of the abyss.
And the quiet stood still.
A young doctor walked in and walked out
and was unable to say
if you had left or if
you were still here. Because at your end
you were no longer breath
just the hovering wing beat
of a fluttering heart.
Exactly as I once was
in your belly. Heart and heart,
My beginning was a fetus of life.
Your ending was a fetus of death.