Wendy Wisner: “My Father’s Life in the Sun”




Today a doctor is excising a cluster of cancer
blazing on my father’s cheek. It’s no surprise

this happened. A first-generation Israeli, the child
of Holocaust survivors, my father lived

with a wound only the sun could heal. On the phone,
he tells the story: as soon as he turned 15,

he skipped out on school, on his parents
screaming at each other in Yiddish, on the shock

of his cousin dying in the war. My father slung
a towel over his shoulder, prowled the streets of Haifa

until he smelled the ocean, planted his body
directly under the sun, and never looked back.



Wendy Wisner is the author of two books of poems, Epicenter and Morph and Bloom. Her poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Bellevue Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, Minnesota Review, Full Grown People, Brain Child Magazine, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

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