From Bankruptcy

Ron Dahan

Translated from the Hebrew by Nadavi Noked


Don’t lose the shirt, father, don’t lose anything.

Maybe just your stinking shirt, take it off

in the evening, after work,

and sit on the sofa, father, shoes on the table.

Now you’re wandering, I know you,

raiding a plain in the desert like a horseman,

looking for the crevice to squeeze through,

your wolf soul is content.

If you see a burning bush, go there, father,

don’t hesitate for a second, don’t lose your shirt,

take off your shoes and go take a shower.




I remember you, father,

sitting on the sofa, your face buried in the palms of your hands,

the document in front of you.

So simple, so clear.

The wolves have been released

and they are on their way to you, father.

Why don’t you get up?

I see you, father. The sun is in pain within your forehead,

the summer trickles down from your closed eyelids.

It’s been ages since you cut your hair, father. You also haven’t shaved.

You look awful.

But there’s no time now.

The wolves are knocking on the door, they are hungry.

Get up, get up father.

You have to run away.

I’ll stay here.




The old piano, father,

that’s the only thing the wolf left us,

I guess you’re happy to hear that.

I was all alone in the house and I let him in,

I’m sorry, father.

He worked quickly and efficiently,

I restrained the dog so it wouldn’t bite him.

When mom came, the house was already empty,

the wolf just came up for one last round, he looked well built, father,

his muscles were shining because of the physical effort,

and he gave off a delicate scent of some masculine cologne.

Mom, who was following his dexterous maneuvers,

was somewhat disoriented for a moment,

but she came to her senses and waved the forms in his face and shouted

I’m divorced, I’m divorced.

But the wolf just smiled and handed her another form.

Take it with them, ma’am, he said and left.

Mom tossed the papers to the floor.

They echoed through the air like a stone thrown into a well.

Your father’s fucked up piano is the only thing he didn’t take, huh?

I caressed the stinking, rotten wooden keyboard cover.

It’s not fucked up, father.

It just needs to be tuned.


Note: These poems are part of the “Bankruptcy” cycle in Ron Dahan’s book Death of the Bird


.אַל תִּפְשֹׁט אֶת הָרֶגֶל, אַבָּא, אַל תִּפְשֹׁט כְּלוּם

אוּלַי רַק אֶת הַחֻלְצָה הַמַּסְרִיחָה שֶׁלְּךָ

.בָּעֶרֶב, אַחֲרֵי הָעֲבוֹדָה

.וְשֵׁב עַל הַסַּפָּה, אַבָּא, נַעֲלַיִם עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן

.עַכְשָׁו אַתָּה נוֹדֵד, אֲנִי מַכִּיר אוֹתְךָ

פּוֹשֵׁט עַל מִישׁוֹר בַּמִּדְבָּר כְּמוֹ פָּרָשׁ

,מְחַפֵּשׂ אֶת הַנְּקִיק לְהִשְׁתַּחֵל דַּרְכּוֹ

.נִשְׁמַת הַזְּאֵב שֶׁלְּךָ מְרֻצָּה

,אִם תִּרְאֶה סְנֵה בּוֹעֵר, לֵךְ אֵלָיו אַבָּא

,אַל תְּהַסֵּס לְרֶגַע, אַל תִּפְשֹׁט רֶגֶל

.שַׁל נְעָלֶיךָ וְלֵךְ לְהִתְקַלֵּחַ




אֲנִי זוֹכֵר אוֹתְךָ אַבָּא

.יוֹשֵׁב עַל הַסַּפָּה, רֹאשְׁךָ טָמוּן בֵּין יָדֶיךָ, לְפָנֶיךָ הַמִּסְמָךְ

.כַּמָּה הוּא פָּשׁוּט, כַּמָּה בָּרוּר

.הַזְּאֵבִים שֻׁחְרְרוּ וְהֵם בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֵלֶיךָ אַבָּא

?לָמָּה אַתָּה לֹא קָם

,אֲנִי רוֹאֶה אוֹתְךָ אַבָּא. הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ סוֹבֶלֶת בְּמִצְחֲךָ

.הַקַּיִץ זוֹלֵג מֵעֵינֶיךָ הָעֲצוּמוֹת

.מִזְּמַן לֹא הִסְתַּפַּרְתָּ אַבָּא, גַּם לֹא הִתְגַּלַּחְתָּ

.אַתָּה נִרְאֶה רַע

.אֲבָל כָּעֵת אֵין זְמַן

.הַזְּאֵבִים דּוֹפְקִים בַּדֶּלֶת, הֵם רְעֵבִים

.קוּם. קוּם אַבָּא

.אַתָּה חַיָּב לִבְרֹחַ

.אֲנִי אֶשָּׁאֵר כָּאן




,הַפְּסַנְתֵּר הָעַתִּיק, אַבָּא

,זֶה הַדָּבָר הַיָּחִיד שֶׁהַזְּאֵב הִשְׁאִיר

.אַתָּה בֶּטַח שָׂמֵחַ

הָיִיתִי לְבַד בַּבַּיִת וְנָתַתִּי לוֹ לְהִכָּנֵס

.אֲנִי מִצְטַעֵר, אַבָּא

.הוּא עָבַד מַהֵר וּבִיעִילוּת, אֲנִי שָׁמַרְתִּי עַל הַכֶּלֶב שֶׁלֹּא יִנְשֹׁךְ אוֹתוֹ

,כְּשֶׁאִמָּא הִגִּיעָה, הַבַּיִת כְּבָר הָיָה רֵיק

,הַזְּאֵב בְּדִיּוּק עָלָה לְסִיבוּב אַחֲרוֹן, הוּא נִרְאָה טוֹב אַבָּא

.שְׁרִירָיו הִבְרִיקוּ מִן הַמַּאֲמָץ וְהוּא הִדִּיף רֵיחַ עָדִין שֶׁל בֹּשֶׂם גַּבְרִי

,לְרֶגַע זֶה בִּלְבֵּל אֶת אִמָּא שֶׁעָקְבָה אַחֲרֵי תְּנוּעוֹתָיו הַגְּמִישׁוֹת

אֲבָל הִיא הִתְעַשְּׁתָה וְנוֹפְפָה מוּלוֹ בַּטְּפָסִים וְצָעֲקָה

.”אֲנִי גְּרוּשָׁה, אֲנִי גְּרוּשָׁה”

.הַזְּאֵב רַק חִיֵּךְ וְהוֹשִׁיט לָהּ טֹפֶס נוֹסָף. “תִּפְנִי אֲלֵיהֶם גְּבֶרֶת”, אָמַר וְיָצָא

.אִמָּא הִטִּיחָה אֶת הַנְּיָרוֹת עַל הָרִצְפָה

.הֵם עָשׂוּ הֵד בֶּחָלָל כְּמוֹ אֶבֶן שֶׁנִּזְרֶקֶת לַבְּאֵר

“?רַק אֶת הַפְּסַנְתֵּר הַדָּפוּק שֶׁל אַבָּא שֶׁלְּךָ הוּא לֹא לָקַח, אָה”

.לִטַּפְתִּי אֶת מִכְסֵה הַקְּלִידִים, אֶת הָעֵץ הָרָקוּב וְהַמַּסְרִיחַ

,הוּא לֹא דָּפוּק אַבָּא

.רַק זָקוּק לְכִוּוּן


Ron Dahan is an Israeli poet and novelist who authored four poetry books. His poems have been translated to several languages. Some of his poems have been published in various literary journals and have been read in international poetry festivals.




Nadavi Noked is an Israeli poet and literary translator. His translations of classic and contemporary poetry have been published in various literary publications.




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