Woman at Ellis Island

An anonymous Katya or Magda
with a simple peasant face, yet with eyes of intensity-
you look at the camera with candor...
There's nothing pretentious here, no flashiness
or dazzle, just your rustic beauty atypical yes, a
woman as intriguing as the Mona Lisa's smile and
those eyes unforgettable, like those of another
green-eyed eyed girl gracing National Geographic's cover.
Your many necklaces seem out of place and I think
of Mardi Gras beads - so oddly juxtaposed with
your otherwise plain garb.
Rumanian, Russian, Slovak perhaps, I almost
recognize your blouse's embroidery from my own Magyar roots.
What are you thinking? The answer is obscured
behind your striking gaze, riveting but demure...
And I wonder, Do you have a husband, children?
Have you left fields and home on haste?
Are you an immigrant or refugee? Either way
lady, have courage and hope and never lose your earthy
sincerity- don't go chasing glamor, though there's
plenty here, in this New World - just remember from
where you came; I know such things for I too,
am a daughter of diasporas.

Comments

Annette M Velasquez

This is based on a photograph of a Ruthenian woman, from old Ellis Island records.

Jan Wienen

Thank you for this special trip through my memory banks 

Annette M Velasquez

You are welcome, the poem is based on a photograph of a woman from Ruthenia. Are you Dutch?

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