NYC Poetry Magazine –

"Sailing to Sanctuary" by LindaAnn LoSchiavo


Title image shows a nightime view of a lit up bridge over a river and lit up buildings in the background.

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Published Semptember 1, 2022

Sailing to Sanctuary

by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
(New York, New York, USA)

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

         – Emma Lazarus, 1883

What made them leave their native lands by boat?
Some heard fierce military thunder, saw
A blood moon rise in new duplicitous
Skies gone gunmetal gray, ruth camouflaged.

Some farmers ached from death's cruel carpet ride,
Drought, famine, floods, the disintegration
Of dreams, all gone, one at a time.

Some faced more personal oppression: skin
Tone, birthright's claims denied, religious foes,
Recognizing that falsehoods were designed
To dominate. Truth's weapons were inert.

Some knew their powerlessness to outgrow
A humble past or lifelong poverty.

Approaching Ellis Island, side by side,
Examining our Lady Liberty,
Dropping an arm's warm anchor happily
Around each other's neck, they sense change
Is close along with assimilation –
The circularity of homeland's quest.

Author's Note: New York became a sanctuary city, where illegal immigrants enjoy some measure of protection, through an executive order signed by Mayor Ed Koch in 1989.

Native New Yorker, LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a Pushcart Prize and Rhysling Award nominee, is a member of SFPA and The Dramatists Guild. Elgin Award winner, A Route Obscure and Lonely and Concupiscent Consumption are her latest poetry titles. Forthcoming: Women Who Were Warned [Beacon Books, UK]. She has been leading a poetry critique group for two years.

This poem is included in Poetry World #4, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in NYC Poetry Magazine:
Manifestation of métier write

by Matthew Scott Harris

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