Noga Welner-Kessler served in the Israeli Defense Force as an officer in the Army Medical Corps, Mental Health Division, Research Branch. This poem was written in memory of those lost in the war, Operation Peace for Galilee, Israel’s first war in Lebanon.

Noga Welner-KesslerIsraeli Defense Force, 1987-1989

ON THE ROAD TO NABATIYA

 

ON THE ROAD TO NABATIYA

THEY COME TO ME

AS IF I’VE CALLED THEM BACK

FROM A PLACE I’VE LEFT BEHIND

THEIR FACES, YOUNG

THEIR EYES

SO INNOCENT,

THEY SMILE TO ME

COAXING ME, RETURN

TO THE MEMORIES, TIME HAS HEALED

AS THEY ENVELOP ME, I WEAKEN

ONCE AGAIN, LONGING

FOR THE PAIN OF REMEMBERING

THEIR DREAMS,

REKINDLE WITHIN ME

ACHING AS THEY BURN

HOW EMPTY THE WORLD WITHOUT THEM

LOST

ON THE ROAD TO NABATIYA

 

                                                            Noga   1983