Immigrant Song

Immigrant Song

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Bitter Mother

Blue, dead, rush of mothers,
conceal your island, little star.

Trains, hands, note on a thread,
Poland’s dish of salt.

They said, The orphanlands
of America
promise you a father—

The ship’s sorrows, broken daughter,
the ocean’s dark, dug out.

Silent Father

Rain, stars, sewage in the spill,
hush the river.

In your black boat, broken snake,
you hid. You sailed

for the meritlands of America,
dumped your name in the black
water—

In the village they pushed the Rabbi
to the wall—someone
blessed the hunter.

Angry Daughter

One says No and the other
says nothing at all—

Chicago, I will live in your museums
where Europe is a picture on the wall.

Obedient Child

I concealed my island,
my little star.

In my black boat I hid.
I hid in pictures on the wall.

I said, I am here in America,
your hero, your confusion,

your disappointment after all.
They said,

How did you end up so bad
in a country this good and tall.

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