This is My America

This is my America.

I wake up each day, grateful, 

knowing my great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers
traveling to this land from across wide seas
not knowing if they could build a life
but opportunity lay ahead
and nothing but persecution lay behind
and they took their Adonai with them
bundled in miniature handmade scrolls
and velvet head coverings.

Knowing that my husband’s ancestors came long before that
either forced onto ships in shackles
for hard lives of brutal labor
or fleeing green hills barren of food
to come here and find plentiful bounty
but hatred still
No Irish signs popping up like
hillside clovers in store windows.

Knowing that my children carry this with them, and more
because their own grandparents,
their father’s familia,
moved here from warmer southern lands
following the trails of San Father Serra
up into Los Angeles
blendings of Latino heritage and cultures,
from California to Texas.

This is my America.

One household, united under God,
With liberty and justice for us all.

Dreams Come True

With you, I’ve
revived teenage glories
mingled with poets
pandered politicians
sailed south on a summer cruise
screamed in joy on roller coasters
kissed at midnight on New Year’s Eve
spoken my own words at an open mike
laughed heartily and daily
put the children to bed as you wash dishes
held hands in every movie
woken cuddled in smiles
flown above the ocean waves

A short list
of the fantasies
you’ve made real
with no real attempt
at being fantastic
just honest truth
that this is how you live
to make my dreams
come true.

With you, I’ve
been set free to soar.

In the Moment

In this moment, there is
normalcy, domesticity, tranquility
and loving you as you love
watching the pasttime that reminds you
of simpler, easier times
of when your Nana
whose ring I bear
watched with you, cheered with you
and I’m certain, though certainly not
her, that you are happy
in this moment, with me.

Shana, No Y

When I feel lost, spiraling down
spinning madly like a camera
dropped from a 10,000 foot precipice
I can hold on to this –

I am Shana, no Y.

Know why? It’s the name
my mother whispered in my ear
a cooing sound to tell me
I’m more beautiful to her
than the starlight streaming
into our beds, that first night
of life, in her arms.

I am Shana, no Y.

Shana, or Sarai, or Sarah, after
the first mother of the Jewish people.
I am a mother, first, even if
later than most. Protecting
my young, my people,
matriarch of my world.

I am Shana, no Y.

I am what I am,
In God’s image, female spirit
embodied in the most female of forms
exaggerated breasts and hips and
round backside arching, aching
you embrace me because you, male,
can’t resist melding into me.

I am Shana, no Y.

And still evolving, perfect in
every misshapen moment
every seeming stumble
every award and ascent.
Who am I? No other answer
but this –

I am Shana, no Y.