Like foundations of crumbling houses.
Rooted by the banks of flowing rivers.
This poem is translated from Hebrew and mainly it's a poem about war. The speaker is a Jewish or Arab father. The father dedicates this poem to his son who died at the war in the Middle East. He is mourning the death of his son. If his son is still alive, he could be a great man. But now he is dead and the father cries for him. Now he feels like nothing important in his life because his son has died. The father doesn't care about other people's thoughts of his son was a good soldier. He only cares (and hopes/wishes) that his son is there with him.
In this poem we can find many figurative language. In the first stanza we can see metaphors when the father compares his life (or his soul) as a house. Now that his son is dead, his soul (his house) is crumbling, break into very small pieces. His life is come to an end because he feels that he is "lost" without his son. He uses the word "wandering" for this condition. Now he has no special purpose in his life and he feels like nothing important left since he lost his son whom he loves so much. However, his memory of his son is still there and it might be his reason why he is still alive. This memory is his "strong base" to continues his life. This "strong base" is represented by the word "foundations" (line 3). The first line "And we, what are we?" is meant to emphasize his desperate feelings.
In the second stanza, we can notice metaphors, symbols and apostrophe. We can see metaphors as he compares his son to an olive tree and a palm tree. As an olive tree, he wants his son to "blossoms and promises fruit". That is, to grow healthy ("blossoms") and to have a child ("promises fruit"). The father also wants him to "bears within it a riddle of ripe and age". This means to handle any difficulties that will come in his life as he grows old. "Ripe and age" compares to grow old because "ripe" means fully developed (which is suitable to "age").