Immigrant . . .
I watched as you worked
a mind through endless turmoil,
sifting and sorting truth and fantasy
and arriving. . .
You opened eyes and unblinkingly stated,
‘you have always known, haven’t you?
How did you do it?’
I knew I could not take
even a moment of self revelation away,
answered, ‘in my way. I loved and
raised babies and painted
roses on their cheeks and
planted evergreens in their hearts.’
And in a way I had not known,
closed a part of memory so I could do it
all for real, so I would use the same rules
you did and everyone else.
But you did not play by the rules.
They were changed so quickly for you
that you could not switch tracks.
So now I write why.
I compose odes and melodies
and tie my feeling in knots
and look for entry into a world
I know by heart.
It is one I never left, even to come here.
I carried it around like a money belt
all the days of my life.
And I know now that when I go
it will be to the old country.