Begane Grond

Our lift talks to me, as I go up
or down, in a gentle, protective tone.
"We are here," she says "you may go".
She tells me the floor we have reached,
always lets me know where I am.

But whenever I descend to go out
into these streets I do not belong to,
"Begane grond" she intones, in a voice
which sounds to me slightly concerned,
"Here," I think she says, "here's the world,

open the door, go. And do not fret,
everyone here is as foreign as you are.
No one belongs. Not anywhere."

by Roni Margulies

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