• Broadkill Review

Two poems by E. Laura Golberg

How I Came to America


“Credibility gap” and “rubbernecking”.

My father loved the language of America,

loved the lure of opportunity.


He came here often. When I was six,

he brought me back a yellow

45 rpm disk of the Alphabet Song.

I thought Americans changed zed

to zee just to rhyme with p.

Later, he brought View-Master stereo glasses

to look at the Organ Pipe Monument,

with cactuses: corduroy with spines.

Then the record of West Side Story.


At last, the right job offer. Then Immigration:

quotas, based on profession and country

of birth. “The quota for scientists born

on Cyprus has been met for 1967.

Is there anything else you can do?"

asked a creative American bureaucrat.

“In my day,” said my Dad, “scientists had to blow

their own flasks." So, I came to the US

as the daughter of a Cypriot glassblower.



Lespedeza


Grandpa and Uncle Bill would huddle

on the six-oh pasture for hours, looking

in dismay at the raw cuts in the land,

dirt showing—wounds that wouldn’t

heal. At only seven, Sue was bored

by talk of Lespedeza Cuneata, Big Blue,

Cordgrass. She always thought Lespedeza

was the Princess of the Grassland who wore

a flouncing ball gown, had red hair

and was a real flirt. Big Blue loved her.

Sue imagined him tall, heavy set, not fat

you understand, but faithful to his name,

large. One of his hands could cup

Lespedeza’s head, thumb on one ear, pinky

on the other. His feet were like those

of ol’ Doc Fletcher, the vet, who’d change

into boots in the barn before going to see

a case. Sue saw Doc’s shoes there the morning

after Daisy delivered another still-born calf.



E. Laura Golberg emigrated from England to America at age 21. She won first place in the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts Larry Neal Poetry Competition.  Laura’s poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, Birmingham Poetry Review, Spillway, RHINO, and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, among other places. Her poem ‘Girls’ School Uniform Hats’ is upcoming in The Laurel Review. www.ELauraGolberg.com/is her Web Page. 



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