‘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

And expect.

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

Read Hebrew version: שְׁקָעִים בָּעֲרִיסָה