Peas (And the woman in the blue hijab

walked deliberately into my bicycle
in a wave of pedestrians crossing the street,
and I felt like teeth of a comb in a head of hair.
The birds of campus include the hooded crow,
white throated king fisher, the Palestinian sunbird.
I repaired the irrigation system in the orchard
yesterday. I do not know how to say “out loud”
in Hebrew. I saw the little green bee-eater,
the Eurasian Hoopoe, and a Syrian woodpecker.
Those have a dab of red. Answer the questions
in the Hebrew language workbook
as one would answer in a beauty pageant—
nothing philosophical. Size, weight, love children,
love animals. Eat healthy, exercise.
Some people don’t look anyone in the eye.)
In the garden, the peas are beginning
to put their green round seeds in their beautiful green
packages, curling themselves up the white,
cotton strings hung on bamboo frames I made
from bamboo I harvested along the Yarkon
with my daughter and Avi’s one day when
I was angry with him. He showed me how
to close my knife blade when he
picked her up. How do they do that, those peas?
Those crisp envelopes. Those translucent green sheaths
with their purses of bright, green beads.

Photo used under CC.


About Author


Marcela Sulak’s poetry includes Decency (2015), Immigrant (2010), and the chapbook "Of all the things that don’t exist, I love you best." She's co-edited Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres, and translated four poetry collections from Czech, French, and, most recently, Twenty Girls to Envy Me. Selected Poems by Orit Gidali (2016), which was long listed for the 2017 PEN Award for Poetry Translation. She is an associate professor of Literature at Bar-Ilan University. She also hosts a weekly radio podcast on TLV.1 called Israel in Translation, and edits The Ilanot Review.

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