The Tortoise
By Elisabetta Cabibbe Paggi1

I think I know you
Warrior without armor
Passionately seeking
The meaning of life
Right there where you feel
Truth breathing
And surprising you
A plunge into the heart.

Between music and poetry
You discover the treasure
At the end of the rainbow.

Then you notice around you
The world that is locked
Of springs and autumns, half seasons
That no longer exist
And if you extend your hand
Will anyone grasp it?

You prefer the magic of film
In the end every life is extraordinary.
How will yours turn out?

Sometimes your heart is on top
Sometimes you turn around and around
At the cinema you watch Sunset Strip over and over.

Now I have a shell
Like a tortoise
But yes, now I remember
I was like that too
A hundred years ago.


1. Elisabetta Cabibbe Paggi z”l was an active participant in the Jewish community of Livorno, an accomplished Italian poet, and the recent recipient of prestigious prizes for poetry awarded in Florence and Milan, the latter treating her entire family to a vacation on an Italian lake. This translation by Judith Roumani is dedicated to her memory, a dear and admired friend.

Copyright by Sephardic Horizons, all rights reserved. ISSN Number 2158-1800