’14 Summer Swansong (part 1): my latest @ImageCurve #haibun

statue of liberty

More than a week has passed. Out of a two-month summer vacation, two days remain. Impressions:

last bitter taste of morning coffee cicada song

August 23rd

We take the mandatory photo at the Statue of Liberty. An overcast sky hangs above her torch. We’ve put on long-sleeves. Frankie is happier racing on the ledge—until we learn that our tickets don’t include access to the pedestal.

sea gull cries he stares at tourists on the base

After viewing the early immigration galleries, the great hall (with its vaulted ceiling), and the immigrant processing stations, Mira and I snap at each other. Our issue: who accompanies our son through even more galleries? I pass him off to his cousins and enter one I haven’t seen. It tells the story of immigrants’ work, hardships, sacrifices. I, one of their descendants, stare at my callous-free hands.

chalk-marked jackets
only tourists now step on
the Great Hall’s floor

August 24th

The singers play to the dozens seated on lawn chairs. They perform on a stage set in a shady grove of oaks and maples. I hear that first melody—wistfully sung, sorrowful folk lyrics—and know we won’t be at this festival long. A frisbee toss with Frankie on a rise overlooking the lawn later, I’m proven right.

packing up
an upbeat tempo
as we depart


first published in Image Curve, November 14, 2019

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