Friday, December 9, 2011

27 North Street

27 North Street

In the photograph
my grandma and grandpa
are happy in New York.
It is Christmas and
they are newlyweds.
They have no children yet
but if you look closely,
very closely,
you can see me
waiting in the shadow
to be born,
waiting by the Christmas tree,
waiting in the basement,
waiting in a snowbank.
If you look
even closer still,
behind me,
my great-grandma
is on Ellis Island.
You can see her
coming down the plank,
seeing America
for the first time.
Behind her,
and you might want to use
a magnifying glass for this,
I am smiling and waving
and it is like this,
this standing behind each other,
again and again.
This is my paradigm.
This is just
one moment.
This happens
when I blink.

©JEF 1987

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