Immigrant with Flowers
Martin Galvin

He looks like he is used to working hard with his hands
Tossing bricks up a level to the mason, slinging mulch
In 50 lb. bags across his shoulder as if they were nothing,
There is nothing can stop him now he’s here in America.

Right at the moment, he’s standing on a traffic island
That offers fragile shelter, five bouquets in each hand,
Pushing bunches at the windshields of cars stopped dead.
The sleek indifferent cars don’t seem happy to be here.
The drivers stare ahead like machines or turn away, confused
By their indifference.

He loves this country where men can stand for hours
Without being shot, or arrested, or knocked through a windshield
For wanting to work, at least not yet, and the scents he sells
Make him sure he’s on to something fine. His wife is on
The other island that, in a perfect mathematical model,
Would intersect with his and they could go home

Hand in hand,
with a pocket full of money and seven dented roses.

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