MINOR VOWS The vows that I make to myself are minor vows: such as to visit my father's grave on days of joy; such as to run in the evening after the flight of the herons in the distance; to be once again a child ascending an imaginary tower; to be filled with the scent of approaching darkness, with the whiteness of flowering citrus. The things that I wish for myself are minor things: such as to wander and wander until I have gathered enough strength to raise the dead.
Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner Zichron Yaacov, Israel
ELISHA PORAT (1938-2013), a Hebrew poet and writer, published six volumes of poetry as well as works of fiction and literary essays. His exuberant enthusiasm for the subjects of his "literary detection" contrasted sharply with the lyric and contemplative quality of his poetry. Porat's deeply moving elegies have in recent years become part of the Memorial Day ceremonies of many locales, including the official ceremony on Mt. Herd in Jerusalem. He is buried on his kibbutz, Ein HaHoresh.