Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The radioman's prayer

Lord of the Universe

Please, increase your transmission strength
here I
can’t hear, don’t know
if once again you’ve stuck a metal flower in the antenna’s lapel.
You’re so gentle. Why
are you so soft, why are you always

Can you hear me clearly, over.
Roger, you too sound cut off, you
sound amputated, you

Are in a valley, deployed three-sixty. Hills
and a different Sea of Galilee. Please
apprise me of your transmission strength, with radar
we can’t see your face, why
are you not on treads, why
are you not fighting, should we
send you a mechanized patrol, I
am full of faith
that it won’t arrive and won’t come back...

The radioman’s prayer by Be'eri Hazak, Israeli reservist who died along the Suez Canal in 1973. From Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story, by Matti Friedman (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016)  p. 130-131, a memoir and investigative study of the Lebanon security zone held by Israel until 2000.

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