They’re aligning the chairs
At the Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial Square
Adjusting the loudspeakers
‘God Full of Mercy’.
It’s the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
God is full
And the chairs are empty.
Millions of chairs are empty.
Can anyone align that?
The night moulds us into different, fluctuating,
Never to be proven angles.
Addition, subtraction and miraculous multiplication.
In the morning we stand up, vertical, upright
And converge at last night’s exercises.
Only then do we start calculating
And getting it wrong.
That educating one’s mind over one’s heart,
Is no education at all.
I spent my entire childhood sitting in classrooms,
Surrounded by adults toiling to educate me,
That my heart was in fact yearning to learn.
Only Aristotle was given permission to speak.
I stared right through the teachers,
Gave my heart a summer vacation
And insisted it shouldn’t graduate.
I was a student
But mostly I was a teacher
My entire childhood,
Spent in classrooms.
Translated by Natalie Feinstein