Joseph Bruchac III

   Beyond the red brick of Ellis Island 2
   where the two Slovak children
   who became my grandparents
   waited the long days of quarantine,
   after leaving the sickness,
   the old Empires of Europe,
   a Circle Line 3 ship slips easily
   on its way to the island
   of the tall women, green 4
   as dreams of forests and meadows
   waiting for those who'd worked
   a thousand years
   yet never owned their own.

   Like millions of others,
   I too come to this island,
   nine decades the answer
   of dreams.
   Yet only one part of my blood loves
   that memory.
   Another voice speaks
   of native lands
   within this nation.
   Lands invaded
   when the earth became owned.
              Lands of those who followed
   the changing Moon,
   Knowledge of the seasons
   in their veins.

David Ignatow

My father brought the emigrant bundle
of desperation and worn threads,
that in anxiety as he stumbles
tumble out distractedly;
while I am bedded upon soft green money
that grows like grass.  Thus,
between my father who lives on a bed of anguish
for his daily bread, and I who tear money
at leisure by roots,
where I lie in sun or shade,
a vast continent of breezes, storm to him,
shadows, darkness to him, small lakes,
difficult channels to him, and hills,
mountains to him, lie between us.

My father comes of a hell
where bread and men have been kneaded
and baked together.  You have heard the scream
as knife fell; while I have slept
as guns pounded on the shore.