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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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