Annie Kantar


Khan Younis, Gaza

Beginnings are hard, he scrawled in the sand of his cage. Never give up, his mother said. Sometimes he saw the keeper stuffing dead birds. Once, it was a monkey or pelican. Sometimes, he found it hard to breathe, with all that sawdust.  He had a cross breeze through the bars, the call to prayer, a bowl of water, an enviable BMI. With good grades plus some bureaucratic luck, he had immigration. Sometimes when he woke, a white deer with fresh black stripes appeared. The children had wanted a zebra; it made them feel they were in a real zoo.

Annie Kantar’s poems and translations of poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in American Literary Review, Barrow StreetThe Cincinnati Review, Literary ImaginationPoetry DailyPoetry InternationalTikkunVerse Daily, and elsewhere. Her translation from the Hebrew of With This Night, the final collection of poetry that Leah Goldberg published during her lifetime, was published by University of Texas Press in 2011, and was shortlisted for the ALTA Translation Prize.