Harriet Neeley / Word Painter
Lady of the Harbor, open-armed she greets
The rich and the poor, with the torch in her hand.
Getting off the ships, they wander through the streets.
What awaits them here, in this holy land?
The land of the free. Or is it? Who knows!
Unless you’re born here, you truly are wrong.
The poor to the rich kneel and gladly bow.
And who fathoms but you where you belong?
Italian, Chinese, from West coast to East.
The working-class heaven invites all us in.
And work till you die to fulfill the beast
That suddenly, bitterly, enters your skin.
Lady of the Harbor, open-armed she greets,
With the torch in her hand, everyone she meets.
(Published January 2021)