A New Dawn


A ship on its way to America from Ireland
New York, USA
United States
37° 5' 24.864" N, 95° 42' 46.4076" W



Where am I?

What is this strange land that we happened upon?

I clutched my mother’s hand tightly,

Nearly doubling over,

At the stench of a strong sense of nationalism,

And pride,

As Lady Liberty raised her bronze torch high,

Reeking from the mountain tops in the distance,

Reeking from the majestic oaks,

Reeking from the canyons,

Our arrival was unfolding, our anticipation unyielding.



“Where are we, mommy?”

Now, curiosity consumed me.

Gripping my hand, she lowered her gaze to meet mine.

My mother’s gaze was an asphyxiating mirage,

Of weariness and wariness.

At that moment,

My hearing became oblivious,

To the crescendo of roaring migrant voices,

Destitute, but jovial.

The only voice I could hear was hers.

“Why, Breandan, we’re in The Promised Land.”



“Where are we?”

But, I didn’t understand,

I was too young.

Too young,

to notice Lady Liberty’s nod of reassurance,

Too busy being led by my mother’s determined foot,

To the exit of the overcrowded ship.

Too young to understand,

The risks she must’ve taken just to bring us here.

Tearing us from the fringes of the life we once knew.



“Where could I be?”

The widespread sea seemed to be…


With an intense brilliance.

“What’s a promised land?” I asked under my breath.

Too soft was my voice to be heard

Above the ‘clonk!’ ‘clonk!’ of shoes torn at the soles,

Too soft to be heard,

Over the gaggle of tall, dark trench coats,

As the Bowler hats ascended into the air, in harmony.

After incredulous cries of happiness,



However, my mother didn’t seem to hear me.



Surrounded by throngs of exuberance,

We hurried towards the gateway to the Land of The Free.

With tear-stained eyes, my mother embraced me.

I could feel,

A renewed energy.

I could hear,

my own unfamiliar laughter.

The Home of the Brave stretched before me, iridescent,

In all its majesty.

As an aura of opportunity filled the air!



In Ireland,

We scratched for our existence,

Then, our potatoes died,

Which destroyed something deep within us,

But, awakened a new thirst,

A seething hunger,

For a new life,

Where plenty of crops grew full,

Ripe and plentiful.

I could see our fresh start in all its foggy, morning glory.                

Our ship had arrived at dawn, also

The dawn of a new beginning.



Then, my mother said,

“Welcome to America, Little One.”


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741