My Child Wafts Peace

My child wafts peace.
When I lean over him,
It is not just the smell of soap.

All the people were children wafting peace.
(And in the whole land, not even one
Millstone remained that still turned).

Oh, the land torn like clothes
That can't be mended.
Hard, lonely fathers even in the cave of the Makhpela*
Childless silence.

My child wafts peace.
His mother's womb promised him
What God cannot
Promise us.


* The traditional burial place in Hebron of Abraham
and the other Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel.


Translated by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav

by Yehuda Amichai

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