A Poem For Sunday

by Alice Quinn


“This Slow Unearthly Spell” by Natan Zach:

This slow, unearthly spell of standing
Not to trade places with, or envy
those flying overhead at night, passing
in a shriek of polished and cold metal,
jostling each other in a mysterious

Not to set out again. To spend each
among familiar tokens, making
a barren speech before the stars.
Keeping close watch
over Time’s steps. To bring to an end
all that is loved and rare
with an unhurried hand and a shattered

(From The Countries We Live In: Selected Poems Natan Zach 1955-1979, translated, from the Hebrew, by Peter Everwine. Used by kind permission of Tavern Books. Photo by D.H. Parks)