Three Witches

Michael Peach

Three days after Lag b’Omer,
With reek of smoke
Still heavy on the stagnant breath
Of Eretz Yisrael
And Spring then fully in retreat,
The Garden’s beauty fading was;
For grass to yellow had all but turned,
While naked was again that trash
Which, covered by the lavish growth,
For three dear months had lain concealed.

Thus it was appropriate
That near the Garden overnight
An army camp had sprouted up;
And that – worse still –
When treading warily the high path
As if with foresight, spied I had
Three wanton witches down below,
Each clutching with her gaudy claws
A priceless bunch of looted flowers
As yet unscathed by Summer’s grasp.

25 May 1992

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