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My Childhood Fish

By Kaja Weeks

The distinctive fish of my childhood arrived by way of my parents, who arrived as refugees to America from Estonia, a tiny country on the Baltic Sea.

Fleeing a Soviet military invasion during World War II, they survived ghastly years in war-torn Europe and eventually were granted a trans-Atlantic voyage with entry to the United States, my birthplace. Along with their homeland’s rich but brutal history I also absorbed something that first appeared to be a simple fact: Estonia was a land that took fish culture seriously. It’s true that water surrounds half of the land—the Gulf of Finland to the north and the slate blue Baltic Sea to the west, with some 1,500 offshore islands and an interior flowing with over 2,500 rivers. But that devotion to fish was about something more.

About the Author

Kaja Weeks is a poet, essayist and classically trained singer. As the daughter of WWII refugees, her writing often contemplates identity through the lens of intergenerational history. She has been published in The Sugar House Review, Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities, The Potomac Review (nominee, Pushcart Prize), and elsewhere. More of her writing can be found at lyricovertones.com

 

 

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