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

your mother.

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.