My Mother

by Tali Cohen Shabtai

אמי / טלי כהן שבתאי

אֵם הִנֵּךְ רוֹצֶה


אַל נָא תִּקְרְאִי תְּחוּשׁוֹתַי

אֶלָּא עַל פִּי

שְׁבִיב הַדְמַע

הֶחָבוּי בְּזִיק


שָׂם תִּמּוֹג


תַּסְרִיט מְמֻשָּׁךְ

יְגוֹלֵל לְךָ

נֶפֶשׁ זָרָה

בְּעוֹד שִׁלְבִי כֻּרְסַם

בְּשִׁנֵּי –


אַתְּ ,קׇרָאתְ לִי


If you want

To know me

Read my perceptions only

By the glint of my tear

Hidden in the gleam

Of my pupils.

There the illusion

Will dissolve.

A lengthy script

Will unroll for you

An alien soul.

While my soul is gnawed by

The teeth of sadness

You called me


Tali Cohen Shabtai, is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Tali has written three poetry books: Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick, (bilingual 2007), Protest (bilingual 2012) and Nine Years Away From You (2018). Illustration by K. Nizar, a multi-disciplinary artist from Kerala’s Kozhikode, who began his career on movie-sets doing art works before becoming a visualization artist for a leading newspaper in Kerala.