- Come Again (Resisting the Right, Yesterday)
Resist the right? No resisting the Cossacks, their horses, so Bubbie ran from them, shed tears for her husband-lover, the late rabbi and builder of bridges (who'd not stop at God when workers were needed) his brilliance stilled by microbes, hunger;
Grabbed her ancient mom by the iron-grey braids plucked her two boys, who'd grow up to be Dad and the estranged Uncle (though we kids never knew the depths he'd suffered, transported almost to Cossack training camp when they set sight of him) and fled Russia for the new world; would have gone on to the States, [End Page 93]
Michigan, New York, where her sisters and brothers settled earlier, but the border was already closed, so she stopped in Canada, took refuge, married again and built a new life plying her needle and organizing—the people, the union workman's circle, protests and strikes. The Oodle1 of family fame, fiercely intellectual in the fifties
and the despair of my folks—that kind of talk wasn't safe—schooled her grandkids well in the ideas of human rights! power to the people! Bubbie the lefty radical, rang true in the sixties of my youth—today she'd be spitting in three tongues to see official abuse boomerang back with a vengeance, this time
nowhere to run and no youths to pick up the fight.
Elaine Batcher credits her grandmother, Adele Kotler, with introducing her to the world of ideas, at the Friday night dinners of her childhood. Elaine has a doctorate from the University of Toronto and has written education theory, women's studies, fiction and poetry. She passed the family heritage of religious and political traditions on to her own children and hopes they will do the same. She lives in Toronto.
1. Her name, Adele in English, was pronounced in Yiddish with the oo sound as in book. [End Page 94]