Tali Cohen Shabtai was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is an international poet of high esteem with works translated into many languages. She is the author of three bilingual volumes of poetry, “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”(2007), “Protest” (2012) and “Nine Years From You”(2018). A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2021. She has lived many years in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S.A.
I unfortunately know many people who
acquire an education to stabilize their
without deviations from the framework in a static state, most
of their disciplines
are boring enough to me
and they belong to the business class on the second floor
of bank branch 690 on Jerusalem’s King George Street
I also know a few hired juniors
whose tenure at work is
shrouded in mist,
they use flattery
to a boss who has been granted
because of them.
They work full-time
with a minimum hourly wage
and accrue interest in arrears with a family
of many relatives
even though in Judaism there is a halachic ban on interest
of biblical origin.
I also know people who only earn
without awakening in the morning to work
one day with a bill and one without a bill they scrape
a piece of fresh bread
in a half penny with a yogurt additive
on the side.
And then there are the homeless people on Jaffa Avenue to Agripas Street
they are exposed to the climate and humans
in an extreme fashion
– and they are my best friends.