Hospital Songs by Eva Eliav

Hospital Songs

         For Ehud


I have a rich history
of waiting

your body swells

feeding on nothing
but time


the cure is more painful
than the illness

the cure is a bad dream

we wake


in the long corridor
a bay

three round tables

an urn dispensing water
cold and hot

a crack open

summer air
drifts inward

two women
share recipes

hoard fears

burst into song


on one table
a lavish spread

a family
saving their loved one
from hospital food

savory quiches
bowls of fruit

a picnic
without grass
or trees
or fragrant summer air

or jubilant ants


clothed in flesh
we are dichotomies

as we grow frail
they tear us
limb from limb

to be freed


Eva Eliav received an honours BA in English Language and Literature from The University of Toronto. The daughter of holocaust survivors, she grew up in Canada and now lives in Israel. Her poetry and flash fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Room, The St. Ann’s Review, Emrys Journal, Ilanot Review, Flashquake, The Apple Valley Review, Horizon Review, Fairy Tale Magazine, Stand, Constellations, Minyan, One Art, Gyroscope, MacQueen’s Quinterly and Fictive Dream. She has published two poetry chapbooks: Eve (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2019) and One Summer Day (Kelsay Books, 2021). She has also written a group of fables/fairy tales. Individual fables have been published in fantasy magazines.