"I, May I Rest in Peace" (Hexagram 11)
I, may I rest in peace – I, who am still living, say,
May I have peace in the rest of my life.
I want peace right now while I'm still alive.
I don't want to wait like that pious man who
wished for one leg
of the golden chair of Paradise, I want a four-
right here, a plain wooden chair. I want the rest of
my peace now.
I have lived out my life in wars of every kind:
and within, close combat, face-to-face, the faces
my own, my lover-face, my enemy-face.
Wars with the old weapons – sticks and stones,
blunt axe, words,
dull ripping knife, love and hate,
and wars with newfangled weapons – machine
words, land mines exploding, love and hate.
I don't want to fulfill my parents' prophecy that life
I want peace with all my body and all my soul.
Rest me in peace.
From Open Closed Open, by Yehuda Amichai
Copyright © 2000 by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld