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