The Statue of Liberty by Helga Kidder

The Statue of Liberty

The second time I saw you,
I looked on your crown from the porthole
of a plane, but I saw you first in a picture book
from the American Library that rolled
into our Black Forest town once a month.
This time I was on top of the world,
a bride with a new name, a new country,
a town in Tennessee.

I stood on the deck of the Bremen
returning home when I saw you a third time,
your hand-held beacon, Declaration of Independence,
documenting that I belonged. I remember
the freedom I felt breathing in American air,
the craving for a cheeseburger.

On my 65th birthday I visited my daughter
who lived in a Brooklyn brownstone.
She hired a helicopter for an air tour of the city,
the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s cathedral,
the Chrysler Building, following
the Hudson to the harbor

and for the fourth time I looked at you,
now belonging to me fully, the sonnet carved
into your pedestal my life lived
with all promises fulfilled. Lady Liberty,
you stood stoic, unchanged, a reminder
that time for you stands still.

Image Credit: Portrait of the Statue of Liberty [Brandon Mowinkel/Unsplash].

Helga Kidder
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