The Statue of Liberty rose before me as I climbed from steerage, as I would later climb subway stairs to my job in the garment district. The green statue in my blurry vision was a monster, like the ones my son would create in the movie industry. At that point I’d never even seen a movie but later, here was my son, making monsters.
I shrunk from the statue. Some burly Italian pushed me forward onto Ellis Island. I fell and tore my only pair of pants, already worn and frayed and dirty from riding on top of the train from Rumania to the ship in France. It was not a graceful entrance to America. It was, I later learned, Chaplinesque. I was, like Chaplin, a tramp with a funny hat.
The Statue seemed to tilt and fall over like a special effect in one of my son’s movies. But it was only me, sick, sentenced to quarantine for eight weeks, already a criminal, and I hadn’t even done anything.
The sun peeking through heavy overcast is the eye of a wild animal. I can’t quite make it out, but I believe it’s a Florida Cougar, endangered but not endangered enough, still dangerous. It stalks the old and weak. It stalks me, helpless as a lame rabbit, leaning on my cane, paralyzed by swelter. My vision is blurry, but my hearing is sound enough to hear it sneaking up on me.
It doesn’t need to sneak , but that is His way before He pounces, ravenous, his eyes bright.