Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Fields of Vision

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Fields of Vision

Article excerpt

From the attic the boy

watched children playing, but

they were always running

out of the window frame.

And the weathered shutters

divided up space, so

that he couldn't often tell

where the ball Igor kicked

(he heard the children call

Igor's name) would end up.

The boy was always moving,

one slat to another,

trying to make the world

come out. He saw Teacher

Dyuk's wife with a basket,

then he saw her come back

with eggs; he could smell them.

Once he saw a fat goose,

escaped from her pen, saved

from slaughter, he thought. Once

he saw a girl, in her

embroidered Carpathian

vest. He couldn't see the sky,

the slats pointed down; he

saw the field by the school,

always the same field, only

snow turned into mud into

grass into snow. Later

the boy grew up, came

to America, where he

was a good student, praised

for his attention to facts;

he taught people to look

at every distortion

of a molecule, why

ethylene on iron

turned this way, not another. …

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