The second time through,
                 on page thirty-six, with only
        four to go in the passenger lists of the SS Blucher,
    my eyes heavy as marbles,
             I finally found her, sailing across
a great ocean, 20 years old, $30 in her
        mended pocket, a "dressmaker" she claims,
this young woman, leaning against the rail,
                 who will have a child
      who will also one day have a child,
                                                who will be me,
            looking now at this line, reading it again and again,
 the barely legible, "Sonia Sholkov," my grandmother,
           a line more moving than any in all literature.
  Pereyaslov fades beyond memory.
                         Your mother Viggassy, gone.
      Dead ahead, America.
                                                                     June 19, 1913.
                                                                                     Welcome back to me,

May 1998

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