Arts & Culture

‘The Dairy’—An Original Poem for Shavuot

Memories of a kibbutz Read More

By / May 17, 2018

Friday afternoon radio in Israel is nostalgia time, when old favorite presenters play old favorite oldies to ease out of the week. One Friday afternoon an older lyricist than usual came up during the afternoon program as it played in the kibbutz dairy.

 

When my wife was working in the dairy

On kibbutz In northern Israel

 

A Friday afternoon song

Came over the radio

 

“Take Me in Under Your Wing”

That I read aloud the first time I met her.

 

The dairyman said to the Israeli girls

Milking beside her, “You know who wrote that?”

 

They shrugged. He turned to her

More or less out of politeness.

 

She looked at him, “Bialik?”

He looked back in amazement.

 

“You see,” He waved his hand

Over the fields, tracks of cud chewer excrement,

 

“You see, this girl in the land just six weeks

Knows who Bialik is!”

 

They milked cows and took tithes

And changed pumps for the Sabbath milking

 

But nobody knew who she was

As she walked up the snake path to the cabin

To wash away the filth

And pray before sunset

 

And find the law behind a stone

In Jerusalem, not the place she left.

 

Image via Wikimedia

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