Arrival, New York,1909 Poem by S.M. Kozubek

Arrival, New York,1909



On the steam-driven Potsdam,
my grandmother and three children
brave souls timidly entered the steerage
lugging in a trunk all they own,
with little more than hope
(before the ghetto and Auschwitz)
journeyed from the only
home they knew,
their village east of Kraków;
gambled their lives
on rumor, talk, and dreams:
to escape famine and starvation
is worth the gamble, they prayed;
though stricken and shaken,
menaced by
the rolling ocean's
lightening and storms
they ventured, huddled
on a rough-hewn bunk
in the belly of
the tossed bark
moaning the steerage blues
‘tween vomit and lice
but hope now, sometimes hope.

Arrived at last at the dock
below the Statue,
they scour for work,
which means food and life
for the little ones,
as Liberty above
cries out to all:
"Give me your tired,
your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe
Free."

published as the first poem in the Journal of Modern Poetry 15 (2013)

Friday, February 17, 2012
Topic(s) of this poem: auschwitz,immigrant,immigration,migration,refugee,refugees
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
I wrote this poem in reflecting on the brave voyages of my grandmother, and all my grandparents, as emigrants to America.
COMMENTS OF THE POEM

Virtually flawless structural movement throughout...A sterling theme(perhaps a bit bias on the theme being i'm a born & raised New Yorker) , as well as a worthy paradigm of contemporary Free-Verse...Solid crafting ~FjR~

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S.M. Kozubek

Evanston, Illinois
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