Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Incomplete women and incomplete men
schlep up the avenue and back again
bearing their bundles over their backs,
the remains of their lifetimes stuffed into sacks.
Patiently trudging with impassive faces,
trying to find the impossible places
where they may rest, be they new ones or prior,
to find a safe haven and build a small fire.
What have they done to warrant this life?
To live out existence that cuts like a knife?
A wife who couldn’t put up anymore
with an abusive husband? A bully and bore?
Are his brains addled? Is he confused?
Were they once children neglected, abused?
They sit collected, their backs to the wall.
What will society do with them all?
Collect them in shelters or drive them away
from Interstate medians where by night and day
they lie hidden by bushes, secure, so they think,
to dream away days or to shoot up or drink?
Such wasted lives that have slipped through the cracks,
stripped of their power, defined by their lacks.
They line our sidewalks, devoid of our riches,
to show us society’s obvious glitches.