We side-by-side rode
in the tractor,
our flannel shirt sleeves barely touching.
We contemplated not only the nation’s fate,
but also the farm’s.
“We’ll go to Ukraine,” I said, “They still farm there
just as Pradid Lesko farmed in ’17.”
Perhaps Prababusya Marichka
said something similar to Pradid Lesko
when the Bolsheviks rose to power;
perhaps she said “We must go to America”
and that’s where she ended her statement,
know their existing options were few.
Something philosophical, forbidden and romantic
existed in my haphazard escape plan.
Your upper lip curled slightly,
and I knew you wondered what
it might be like to reap hay with a scythe
and whisper my name in a foreign tongue.
Nicole Yurcaba is a member of the English faculty at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield, West Virginia. The granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Ukrainian immigrants, her work often reflects her upbringing in Ukrainian culture. Yurcaba's work can be found at VoxPoetica, The Atlanta Review, Hobo Camp Review, Bluestone Review, and many others. Her poetry collection is Backwoods and Back Words.