The Breath of Freedom
2017 will our flag still wave liberty?
1946 our family left the land
of the Persian Shah
and his peacock throne.
“Be quiet. Don’t tell.
Don’t open your mouth.”
My index finger held
In front of tight lips.
The November storm subsided
Our three weeks crossing the Atlantic
on the S.S. Minot Victory ended.
We reached the shores, reached
Boston Harbor. In the foggy rain
my finger slipped down.
My mouth opened
taking in the air of freedom!
Feet stepped on solid ground
As the inspector searched
My brother’s violin case
Was he looking for a knife or gun?
Found nothing but a bow violin and resin.
He let us go into our uncles’ arms, Alexan,
Vaghinak, and Vaghoush hugged us.
Welcomed us to this free land, America!
Harry Truman our President
no more Shah Hen Shah.
Our Armenian-American uncles
drove us in the fog to a diner.
We drank milk and ate apple pie.
As we laughed. “You are American now.”
No chador to hide behind
I would become a citizen
in this democracy, a young girl
turn into a free woman!