Maybe It’s Only the Monotony

M
of these long scorching days
but today my daughter
is truly exasperating—
Stop it! I shout—or I’ll
and I twist her little pinked arm
slowly,
calibrating my ferocity—

You can’t hurt me you can’t hurt me!
She’s so defiant, glowering,
glaring at me—
but frightened,
her eyes bright with tears—
See, I’m not even crying!

I see. But it’s the angel
of extermination
I see, shining
in his black trappings,
and turning ecstatically
toward him, a little Jewish girl
tempts him
to play his game of massacre.

—after Vittorio Sereni
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