Half the People in the World by Yehuda Amichai

Today looks good: a bit of work, a bit of reading, a bit of sleeping, a bit of writing. Life’s good.

Half the People in the World
Yehuda Amichai

Half the people in the world
love the other half,
half the people
hate the other half.
Must I because of this half and that half
go wandering and changing ceaselessly
like rain in its cycle,
must I sleep among rocks,
and grow rugged like the trunks of olive trees,
and hear the moon barking at me,
and camouflage my love with worries,
and sprout like frightened grass between the railroad tracks,
and live underground like a mole,
and remain with roots and not with branches,
and not feel my cheek against the cheek of angels,
and love in the first cave,
and marry my wife beneath a canopy
of beams that support the earth,
and act out my death, always
till the last breath and the last
words and without ever understanding,
and put flagpoles on top of my house
and a bomb shelter underneath. And go out on roads
made only for returning and go through
all the appalling stations—
cat, stick, fire, water, butcher,
between the kid and the angel of death?
Half the people love,
half the people hate.
And where is my place between such well-matched halves,
and through what crack will I
see the white housing projects of my dreams
and the barefoot runners on the sands
or, at least, the waving kerchief
of a girl, beside the ancient hill?

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