For poetry by Karen in Spring 2000


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Karen Alkalay-Gut Karen Alkalay-Gut

Birds of Tel Aviv University

The crow drops pecans
on the little piece of sidewalk
outside my office,
picks the meat
from the mess of shells
and flies to a tall pole
for his feast.

He bears the genes of crows
who released their food
in the same, strange way
many years before
on the courtyard of mukhtars.

This is the only land he depends upon.
That is why he


that is the deepest secret -

that you could have gone either way
and you would have remained you

married the guy you forced to leave
gone to the college you couldn't afford
moved to one town or another and fit in perfectly
or remained a stranger

that is the deepest secret

The you
you are
no matter
what path you choose