A dispute breaks out. He brought us through the war, cries a babushka. He watched over everything, knew how many shoelaces to make, how many tanks. He was our father, our son, strict and vigilant. Whatever will we do now? A bony man in an old greatcoat retorts: Spare us your vigilant monsters. Listen. He went abroad yet returned. He experimented, composed whatever he wished; he could be by turns acerbic, savage, lyrical. He might have made a good life for himself in Paris, turned into Serge; yet he came back, back to us. And not just for our birches and mushrooms.
Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, and a book of essays, Professors at Play. His novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction. His most recent book is a short novel, Losses.
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