By David Blackey

Published July 21, 2009, issue of July 24, 2009.

My father promises me
That one day we will
Flee the shtetl
To Odessa.

We will delight in
Chocolate shoppes on
Baroque squares.

We will pass icon-laden
Burnt-brown churches
Topped by cerulean blue
Onion domes.

The harbor on the inland sea
Filled with tall-masted frigates
Will beckon like the Sirens.

I will rise above the sails
To look back at distant fields
Of sunflowers and wheat.
I believe him.

David Blackey is a New Yorker who has lived in La Crosse, Wis., for more than 30 years.

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