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Ascension

Ascension J O H N Z U E R N In 1913, the summer before his family's flight from the Ukraine, my grandfather, then sixteen, went swimming in the Beresan River with a girl named Avja Maljenka. The Beresan was a sluggish river, stained by dark clays and the dye-rich roots of grasses. For most of its course toward Beresanskji Bay, where it entered the Black Sea, it ran through stark, open country, a glittering amber band across the uniform gray and green fabric of the steppe. But in the place where the two young people met in secret, where, on a miserable August afternoon, they stood with their backs to one another and struggled hurriedly out of their dusty clothes, the river made a wide turn against the stony side of a hill, which it had long ago worn away. The half hill was cut cleanly down the middle, so that an arching wall, banded with reddish sand and slender black lines of coal, rose up on the outer curve of the bend. The water slowed there, soaking into the loam on the side opposite the hill, allowing willows to grow, and brambles, and low bushes with tiny http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

Ascension

Manoa , Volume 23 (2) – Mar 16, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
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Abstract

J O H N Z U E R N In 1913, the summer before his family's flight from the Ukraine, my grandfather, then sixteen, went swimming in the Beresan River with a girl named Avja Maljenka. The Beresan was a sluggish river, stained by dark clays and the dye-rich roots of grasses. For most of its course toward Beresanskji Bay, where it entered the Black Sea, it ran through stark, open country, a glittering amber band across the uniform gray and green fabric of the steppe. But in the place where the two young people met in secret, where, on a miserable August afternoon, they stood with their backs to one another and struggled hurriedly out of their dusty clothes, the river made a wide turn against the stony side of a hill, which it had long ago worn away. The half hill was cut cleanly down the middle, so that an arching wall, banded with reddish sand and slender black lines of coal, rose up on the outer curve of the bend. The water slowed there, soaking into the loam on the side opposite the hill, allowing willows to grow, and brambles, and low bushes with tiny

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 16, 2011

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