Friday, August 28, 2015


My grandmother Esther was from Lemberg
Also called
Lvov, Lwow, Lviv and Leopolis.
When there was a kingdom called
Its king lived there. Karaites drifted in
From Byzantium. It had  -- still has -- broad streets
Leading to an opera house, so my grandmother
When she was a teenager making cigarettes
With other factory girls may have gone
To see Carmen, which is also about a girl
Who makes cigarettes. Due to
Lvov's shortage
Of Escamillos, or even Don Joses, she married Max,
A very nice man. Over time, mild affection for him
Blossomed into serene and settled dislike.
Had they stayed they likely would have died
Along with almost all the other of the towns’Jews.
She deemed
New York no substitute for Lemberg.
The moon over the
Hudson River was never
A match for the one whose white double
Swam through Poltowa’s broken willows.

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