and as he went along the shore he hummed,
Grandfather hummed, and not for feeling gay,
but as a signal that his work was well begun
that he had well accounted for another day.
The cranes along the waterfront, grotesques
with names he’d mastered in a foreign tongue,
were marvels that yet left him unimpressed;
were giants he walked fearlessly among.
The immigrant assurance in his breast
rode him to a new world, and made him brave.
He passed what he presumed was each new test
and strove until he landed in his grave.
Exquisite in both form and language. Subtle shading brings that man into high relief. Small gestures that mark motivation, reason, striving, becoming the essence of the American dream. Knowing, believing, made faith a fact. So deftly explored!
Thank you for your kind words.
what a world when the immigrant could work and slowly through his muscles build the country and his own future. This is how it should be…
riveting tale… immigrants come to the US to live the American dream… and build a better future for their family and themselves… you painted a strong picture of an immigrant’s determination.
I know that immigrant story because it is one I have traveled here in Canada ~ Your grandfather was a brave & fearless man ~
it takes a lot of braveness to migrate into another country and leave everything behind…and a bit of an adventurous spirit as well…. very cool
Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful person…a man who felt satisfaction from a day of hard work done well. Wonderful poem!