Celebrating Poets and Poetry



 Reading poetry at Smith College

During a very stormy night, approximately 50 people braved the weather to gather at the Smith College Poetry Center.  The occasion was the celebration of the conclusion of the 30 Poems in November fundraiser for the Center for New Americans. Poets from the community, including several young people, faculty of CNA and board members, read their poetry.  Poems by the students of CNA were on display.  The evening was a wonderful celebration of literacy.

One of my dear sister/friends donated to the cause in honor of a friend of hers who had become a citizen.  When I read this, I contacted her to offer my thanks. I told her I would write a poem in honor of her friend. She was thrilled, immediately putting the two of us in contact.

I had a wonderfully delightful chat with Amelia.  She immigrated to the US from Nicaragua.  She came as a young girl, becoming a citizen as an adult.  Her story touched me in so many ways. The following is my poem celebrating her.

Snapshots of Amelia 

Photo 1 

Wonder-eyed she poses – 
the gift of freedom 
packaged in Hollywood 
lights and Disney song 

Photo 2 

Earthshaken, the Christmas visit
becomes a dream come true- 
uniformed in a smile - 
ready for school in America 

Photo 3 

A move to Uncle Sam’s city, 
engulfed in the shadow 
of monuments of history - 
can you love a country? 

Photo 4 

Right hand raised in promise, 
this land becomes her own - 
citizen of the red, white and blue - 
once just the fancy of a child, now, 
truth – cornerstone to new life. 

© 2014 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

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