Aharon Shabtai: I just wanted to look at Tanya

Aharon Shabtai / Tanya Reinhart

Aharon Shabtai / Tanya Reinhart

From Aharon Shabtai:  War & Love, Love & War
Translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole
New Directions Publishing – 2010

I Just Wanted to Look at Tanya

I just wanted to look at Tanya —
how she stood tall in her coat
at the end of the hall
on her department’s floor
as I came out of the elevator;
how she lit her cigarette
at the entrance archway
as we walked out to Broadway;
how her legs appeared
beneath the dressing-room door
as she tried on pants
at Urban Outfitters;
how she looked at the menu
at the Russian restaurant;
how she’d bring me coffee
in a plastic cup
along the red carpet
at the Quad Cinema
while I waited
in the chair by the rope.
I just wanted to look at her
that Thursday,
and that final night
at the morgue
in Suffolk, New York,
725 Veterans Memorial Highway,
as I pulled back the sheet.

IOA Editor: We remember Tanya Reinhart, a courageous anti-Occupation activist, great moral thinker, world renowned linguist, a comrade and a friend. (Born 23 July 1943, Palestine; died 17 March 2007, New York.)

Aharon Shabtai is one of the Hebrew language’s leading poets, as well as a translator of Greek drama into Hebrew. Shabtai is an outspoken critic of Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories, and of human rights violations against Palestinians; he was married to Tanya Reinhart until her death in 2007. (from Wikipedia.)

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