I was there, but I don’t remember.
So I imagine
that, being late November in New York City, it was a cold, grey, windy day.
My mother and father; she’s carrying me, a babe in arms, and he’s rounding up my brothers, putting the eldest in charge of the younger two, so he can help my mother.
Two young parents, four restless children, one trunk containing all that remains of their former lives. My father uses his last quarter to buy a pack of cigarettes.
they are all happy, excited, afraid, exhausted, relieved, apprehensive, curious. Looking around in wonder and listening to the conversations around them in foreign tongues. Most of the immigrants from our plane were German, like us, but there were some from Poland, some from Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania, and one young family from France.
So I’ve been told.
I can picture
my 28-year-old parents pausing, wordlessly absorbing
the Statue of Liberty on the island nearby
and the huge American flag
and the mass of people.
did the sky seem lower because the buildings were so tall?
While this was the end of a journey, it was the beginning of our new lives.
It is real, the courage and tenacity my parents had; their willingness to sacrifice and do whatever it took to make their dream a reality.
We are Americans.