On Friendship | Hagit Grossman
If a friend calls out to you late at night from beneath your window
Never send him on his way. And if you’ve sent him away and still
Insist on rigid rules, regain your composure after a moment
And run to the window and shout his name: “Come, Merhav!
Come back! I’ve got some corn cooking! Come eat something.”
And he’ll placidly retrace his steps and gladly accept
The key you toss down from your window,
Will come upstairs to the first floor and will be impressed
By the large pictures on the walls.
He’ll sit and wait for you to slip into a clean shirt and you’ll put on
The movie in the kid’s room and your baby daughter
Will rush to the kitchen and come back with a red pepper for him.
He’ll decline the warm corn and say he’s already had dinner.
In the meantime your husband will chat with him about Tai Chi
And pour him a glass of cold sweet pineapple juice.
You’ll return to the living room
And go out to the balcony and light a cigarette and sip
A cold beer. You don’t yet realize
That this is a sublime moment in your life.
One of the most sublime you’ll ever know.
Translated from the Hebrew by Benjamin Balint