My Country Tis by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro19 Apr 2018, Posted by Poetry in
MY COUNTRY TIS
You are the diners of the ’20s, pre-fab, fit
into railroad cars or trucks, parked
on any street of you, America. You are
the glass carousels of cakes, the Napoleons
leaking custard, the Boston creams
of vaudeville in-your- face pies, the pies
piled high with whipped cream and sprinkled
with chocolate shavings, all those thick-crusted
fruit pies with holes in the top that let you peek
in at the sugary mash passing for apples
as in American as apple pie.
You are the clatter of dishes, the mumbled cusses
of waiters in every language, the whumpf
as the doors swing open onto gleaming kitchens,
or so you hope. America, you are
the separate bathrooms labeled
MEN and WOMEN, as if we aren’t sexually
fluid as a pour of steaming joe, as multi-shaded
as skin color, unique as the fingerprint
of a protester hauled in for his first arrest.
About the author:
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro’s novel, Miriam the Medium (Simon & Schuster, 2004), was nominated for the Harold U. Ribelow Award. Her short story collection What I Wish You’d Told Me was published by Shebooks in 2014. She has published essays in NYT (Lives) and Newsweek. She teaches writing at UCLA Extension.
Art: War by Karen Nielsen, @karennielsen13
In the artist’s words:
Karen Nielsen is a multimedia, recording, visual, and performance artist. She began writing music as an expressive outlet for the emotional experiences of her medical training. Her creative work expanded into performance art, videos, and still art works, and focuses on the multidimensionality of humanness in its beauty and ugliness.