Lady in the Harbor

The Statue of Liberty is mooning the world,
Her flowing robes billowing in the wind,
Her torch extinguished by the salty sea air,
Her crown plunging into the harbor
With an ear-splitting splash.

For more than a century
She bore witness to the dregs of humanity
Who crossed her shores
In hopes of a dream deferred
A dream of opportunity demurred.

Her lamp lit the harbor and illuminated it,
But more often hung a smokescreen,
A curtain wall to sweatshops,
Choking with tears, with spilt blood
Of young immigrant girls.

To the west, the Lady in the Harbor
Bowed her tacit consent to
The smallpox of Manifest Destiny,
Sapping the souls of aboriginals,
Exploiting bodies of Mexican laborers.

For their troubles, what did they get?
An eviction notice that reverberates,
Spreading its evil leitmotif across centuries
Only to be transcribed anew as MAGA,
Oh, MAGA-lomaniac, where did you come from?

Let’s admit that we are the usurpers.
America for Americans?
Perhaps we should all leave.

—Robert Hieger
January 14, 2019

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