At the outset of the Nazi invasion in 1941, Meyer Charatz was among the many Yiddish poets who fled to Central Asia, returning in 1945. He was subsequently imprisoned. Granted amnesty seven years later, he contributed hundreds of poems to various left-wing journals abroad. In 1972, he left for Israel.

 

To the Skies of Israel

Give me, O skies, a bit of space;
I want to sepulcher my mother.
And let the stone that marks her place
flame where the clouds of Israel gather.

“Braine Charatz” – I don’t know where
she breathed her last, on what grim path.
I beg a wisp of upper air
from you, from you, on her behalf.

I beg a little soft white cloud
to fashion her a fitting shroud;
and, one by one, let silent stars
stand at her grave like honor guards.

Give me, O skies, a bit of space;
I want to sepulcher my mother.
And let the stone that marks her place
flame where the clouds of Israel gather.


Meyer Charatz