That Sunday, a sharp sun exposed otherwise
unnotable, the Colts. They drew their footman
from his weekly rest, in crisp September air,
took their carriage downtown from an 89th Street
brownstone, to watch an afternoon’s entertainment —
foreigners, arriving from Ellis Island. The Colts,
gowned in ivory and gold, ladies’ feathered hats
bobbing in the breeze, gentlemen caped, strolled
the lawn of Castle Garden, laughed into their gloves,
circled a ragged troop babbling in a hundred tongues,
who stepped off ragged boats, and fell to ground,
weeping in accents thick as knives, Amerika!
This poem first appeared in ForPoetry.com in 2001.
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