When my Father Died my Forehead Died

by Rivka Miriam

When my father died my forehead died.
At first I didn’t understand the whiteness that spread over it
for I thought it was live and breathing.
But lines stopped appearing on it
and it doesn’t go up and down with my thoughts.
When my father died I understood my forehead also died.
I carry it with me white and pale and high
far far from my flesh
I’m afraid to touch it.
Let me say kaddish over my forehead
which was pretty and warm
light and shade played on it
boys caressed it
and in the spring of its youth it died.

Translated from the Hebrew by Linda Stern Zisquit

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