Taken for Granted

By Tali Cohen Shabtai

Where I live 
one step 
is needed for effort, not multiple 
steps
to my apartment. 

So, whoever lost me intentionally 
or inadvertently, 
you should have known 
that not everyone tries twice. 
The nature of loss is measured by 
the power of its permanence, 
and no other.

In the work of writing, you receive 
a "blueprint" before the next step 
so if you do not know what you are stepping on 
when you complete the step, 
do not rush to look 
for me. 
I am already striding to another direction 
of the compass.

I don't need to alert 
those who do that; 
I cannot be reached 
after one 
less goodbye.

This may be a metaphor 
like a cul-de-sac 
where the route has no continuity: 
signs show that 
at the beginning of the road, 
but humanity
notices it only after 
going
300 meters.

So really, 
just misunderstood. 
Taken for granted?
Don’t misunderstand.
Don’t take me for granted. 

Tali Cohen Shabtai was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is an international poet with works translated into many languages. She is the author of three bilingual volumes of poetry, “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”(2007), “Protest” (2012) and “Nine Years From You”(2018).  A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2021.  She has lived many years in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S.A. 


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