‘Before you put a new child in a cot
You first put in a cat and shake it
Until it jumps up and runs away’ – Avot Yeshurun
Before a baby comes into the cot
You choose metal and hug it with gold bangles,
Close a frame and mattress coloured like a legend,
Polish and bare its beauty
Lay down tiny quilts and pillows
Before the baby comes into the cot,
A poodle comes in the house,
Dozes on the parents’ tippy toes
Palms little dolls and fools around,
A puddle by the door that tells,
A jump on the table that tells,
A scratch at the door that tells.
Before a baby comes into the cot,
They leave her in the field
To listen to the jackals and peacocks,
To store up dew and sweltering
And every dough that’s laid beneath a Friday sky
Signals a rise and pathway from the hidden.
When it comes, the baby comes into the cot and finds
Indentations that waited and were only healed with him.
Translated by: Atar Hadari