written by Nelly Sachs

Read by Jackie Landow Fiegel

My mother held, me by my hand.
Then someone raised the knife of parting:
So that it should not strike me,
My mother loosed her hand from mine.
But she lightly touched my thighs once more
And her hand was bleeding—

After that the knife of parting
Cut in two each bite I swallowed —
It rose before me with the sun at dawn
And began to sharpen itself in my eyes —
Wind and water ground in my ear
And every voice of comfort pierced my heart —

As I was led to death
I still felt in the last moment
The unsheathing of the great knife of parting.

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