Josephine waits in a queue

Josephine waits in a queue


Josephine wears her Time Out Guide as a hat and then uses it as a fan

and then wears it as a hat again because she is caught in a queue

that is endless interminable bending about in the biting heat

with the buskers upstaging the Statue of Liberty and the Statue of Liberty


out there in the harbour like a pale welcome sign in the murky light.

Someone stands on a ladder dressed as the statue and doesn’t blink

or twitch, the classical green folds look like stone and next the bronze figures

stuck on the pier that might twitch or blink or be there for an eternity


one knee-deep in water with fingers outstretched missing the rescue

always not-quite saved the man stretching fingers down from the plinth

a boat and there’s an accordion frozen in time hands to mouth the bronze

tinged with liberty green a tableau of hope intense melancholy


that trips the woman up. For a moment Josephine thinks she’s an immigrant

taking off her shoes and belt and surrendering her bags, and then after three

hours and without warning she is moved into the fast lane as though she

is exactly what America wants.


©Paula Green New York Pocket Book Seraph Press, 2016



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