Translated from the Hebrew by Sarit Blum
To Maya with a fringe in a black and white photo
One day everything that surrounds you now
won’t be there anymore. Not the straw chairs
not the grass, not your mother’s friend
who serves cold juice to the table,
not the juice, and not
Scary things will happen: someone
will kidnap you in the playground
and you’lll barely be released
from his suffocating grip.
Twice you’ll almost drown at sea. Almost
all of your prayers for others will fail
You won’t save any of your loved ones.
Years will pass until you find a friend.
Until you get used to the look of your face.
From your love stories you'll feel nothing
but the storms
Three times your heart will shatter
You won’t eat a thing for weeks.
The three of them will return. With all three
you’ll choose the longing
over another heartbreak.
You’ll be scared to death: from poverty. From failure.
From ending up alone.
And then you’ll practice it with everything you’ve got -
being incredibly poor, incredibly alone
and devoid of success.
Over and over life will prove to you
that everything works out when you love.
Until you figure this out, you’ll be
older than your mother and her friend in the photo.
You’ll have long ago softened your heart.
You'll talk to the dead.
You’ll forgive anyone who’s ever left you. Forgive
yourself even, for the stories
you told to hide who you are.
It’ll take many years.
You’ll worry it might never come.
I write to you now so that you’d know:
all of this adds up in the end.
It will be worth it.
You’ll make it through.