With heart-shaped legs
she mounts the long stairs
to sleep in a shaft of warm light,
like some tall dark church on a hill.
They came to New York in 1955,
refugees from somewhere near
the wrong side of the tracks.
Restless people seeking their way
along blue highways and yellow brick roads,
aching for a way out, a way in,
desperate children of eternal strife,
they fought wars of blood and steel,
black and white, words and attrition.
Raised to be a stranger,
grown out of touch with the place called home,
I carry it now like a rock stuttering in my chest.
The all but golden nugget of my parents’ dreams
has come down to this small poem.