No. 2 of 6 poems by Shmuel Halkin
scored in Mieczysław Weinberg’s Jüdische Lieder, Op. 17
Translated by the gracious Miriam Rinn


Finf zin hob ikh getrogn
un finf zaynen faranen,
kh'vel aykh dem emes zogn,
layt zaynen mir mekane.

Kumt zuntik mir a brivon,
ikh leyen im biz montik,
kumt montik mir a briv on,
iz montik bay mir yontev.

Un dinstik frimen klapt
shoyn a brivele der mamen
ikh zol zey nit farlinrn,
di briv ikh halt tsuzamen.

Oykh donershtik un mitvokh
men trogt shoyn mir antkegn
fun ale vaytste frontn
fun umbakante vegn.

Nor fraytick, shabes vart ikh,
ikh trog es durkh geduldik,
vayl oyser mir aleyn dokh
iz keyner gornit shuldik.

Tsvey teg on briv geblibn,
ikh tu a mol a trakht,
es voltn ale zibn,
geshribn mir fun shlakht.

Five sons I have
and five are available to me,
I'll tell you the truth,
people are envious of me.

When I get a letter on Sunday,
I read it through until Monday.
And if I get a letter on Monday,
then Monday is a holiday.

On Tuesday here
is a letter for mother
because I don't want to lose it,
I keep all the letters together.

Also, Thursday and Wednesday
are before me I'm getting messages
from far away lands
and unfamiliar roads.

Only Friday and Sabbath do I wait,
I try to bear it patiently
because my being alone
is no one's fault.

Two days without letters remain,
sometimes I think
that all seven
are written to me from the battle