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Poetry

Sorting Laundry

Translated from Yiddish

Clean laundry
bleached
dried
piled everywhere.

We shake out silently
a shirt
a sock
underwear.

Laid out nicely
smooth and
square
nimble hands
side by side.

The pile is gone.
Between us grows
a tidy
clean
cold
divide.

From Step by Step: An Anthology of Contemporary Yiddish Poetry, forthcoming in 2009 from Quodlibet. By arrangement with the authors. Translations copyright 2008 by Zachary Sholem Berger. All rights reserved.

English

Clean laundry
bleached
dried
piled everywhere.

We shake out silently
a shirt
a sock
underwear.

Laid out nicely
smooth and
square
nimble hands
side by side.

The pile is gone.
Between us grows
a tidy
clean
cold
divide.

From Step by Step: An Anthology of Contemporary Yiddish Poetry, forthcoming in 2009 from Quodlibet. By arrangement with the authors. Translations copyright 2008 by Zachary Sholem Berger. All rights reserved.