When Rokhl Sutzkever, the gentle painter of our
Young Vilna and young life,
From wounded ghetto alleys
To the whirlpool — the gate,
From the knapsack on her girlish back,
The twins — two brushes — poking out.
Earlier, she dipped them in her own two eyes.
I saw: the brushes see,
Swimming to the gate, they say farewell
To falling leaves, balconies, steps, dolls,
To their models in the sinking city.
In a moment, the brush-gold of our painter
Will be a legend.
I whispered: Rokhl, Rokhl, did you take
In your knapsack
Canvas too and tubes of paint?
Or will you paint with a single color: red?
No matter what, I will
Come breathless to your exhibit
And see for myself,
Admire a horrible still life — —