On a leaky boat, they came,
needing to change their name
once, in the village to sound less Jewish
twice, at the Canadian border because the guard couldn’t spell it.
Fake papers in hand,
trying to settle in a free land where they would be able to stand
on two feet and not be rounded up,
cattle before the cattle cars,
rounded up and murdered for their birth.
Wooden ships, carried to the tip of the
no longer Les Lacroix de Bourgogne or Brittany now Quebecois.
Build a church and keep it.
Met in a studio,
for some dumb commercial.
Second date proposal,
she laughed in his face,
he moved into her place
three weeks later.
Two kids, two careers,
then across the ocean to
letting the sun guide them
away from the Winter of Discontentment,
from the language-barrier resentment,
from the measuring-tape authoritarians.
never from anywhere.
Artwork by Jackie Benney. Published with permission of the artist.