Yitzkhak Viner: My Childhood

My Childhood
by Yitzkhak Viner

Years of childhood in Balut* yards
with mother and father in a poor home,
I remember my hunger with my friends at play
when we baked breads out of muddy clay…

Baking the breads, we played away hunger
the closest and worst of our unwanted guests,
so passed the summer with heat in the gutters,
then winter came on with freezes and snow.

Outside is grayness sunken in snow,
the roofs, the gate are silvered and white,
I lie on a bed wrapped up in rags
and look thru the windows covered with ice.

Father leaves early to ask for work
With mother, in darkness of home I stay,
It’s cold, we’re hungry, nothing to eat –
How I lust to bake a small bread loaf of clay…

*Balut was a poor suburb of Lodz.

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