To a Soldier

To a Soldier

This piece embodies the constant changing of a background and landscape of a war taking place in your own backyard; where you know that it’s your familiar area, yet it is constantly being destroyed.  The piece is essentially a piece for soloists as it is for an ensemble.  The vocal line takes place as a separate part of the ensemble as well as being within it, just as someone would want to distance themselves as much as they can from the anguish taking place around them.
“When my husband, Haim Aharoni, was in the army in the Sinai, during the Yom Kippur War, I did not hear anything from him, we heard on the radio that there were many casualties and I feared for his life. My poem “To A Soldier” describes the choking fear and crisping anguish I felt then. Haim returned home after the war unharmed, but unfortunately died of a heart attack in 2006.”
Rice University Graduate Students performing (live)
Chelsea Shephard, soprano
I howled
before the dawn appeared,
the restless bed
creaked in fear
beneath my banging shoulder,
while the pit in my throat
grew and grew
like a yawning crater.
Since you were clutched away
to the War –
the sun is black sand.
Bombs in black sackcloth
float under my breath
exploding it,
making a choking icicle
of me.
Before the night dies again
on my lips,
flash a sign from there
my love,
make a sign of life –
so that I can live –
ending howls in sounds
of peace