In the Beginning
by Rochelle Mass

My husband and I
and our two young daughters
came to Israel in l973,
in the summer before the Yom Kippur War.
We were all born in Canada.
All born in the prairies.

You had to believe in flat to like that land.
It stretched into an endless belt
that became the bread basket of Canada.
Nothing breaks that horizon,
just the smell of wheat
flourishing and the celebration of harvest.

A harsh winter spreads over most of the year
only leaving a month or two for summer
that invades with heavy heat
and clouds of hungry mosquitoes.

I learned to be tough there
to respect the wind
to survive the rip of that chill.
I believed the wind rules
giving me no choice but to bend
to invent new posture.


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