Home » English » Portrait of the Nation, Circa 2016

Portrait of the Nation, Circa 2016

statute of liberty nyc 2005 aashish vaidya

“Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand”

Auntie Thrilla from Wasilla. She will greet you

With twitchy eyes and not so open arms.

She’ll say:

Heh, ancient lands, with your storied pomp,

We can no longer take

“your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,”

For you’re not the right size, the shape, or color

Your eyes are not the steely blue of the sky

Your hair, not the golden rays of the sun

You don’t speak in the right tongue

You don’t say Yahweh as we do.


She’ll say:

We can’t greet you little children with

“gift baskets of teddy bears and soccer balls”

For you might grow up to be drug peddlers,

rapists, terrorists and killers.  


Auntie Thrilla from Wasilla will say:

Ancient lands keep your wretched, stinking

refuse on your own teeming shores,

Don’t send us your homeless, we got no place for them,

You may be “yearning to breathe free”,

but our air doesn’t have enough free oxygen

for you and your kin.


Notes: Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that takes the form of a family portrait.  I came across a news story about 2016 election campaign.  So then I expanded the frame from an immediate family to a wider national  portrait.


News story on 2016 election campaign

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus

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