Ruth – Norma Bradley

I didn’t know if I would be happy or safe.
 My uncle met me at the boat on Ellis Island.

I open the door to my linen closet.
Run my hand slowly
touching fibers of a worn pillow case and two floral cloths.
They live on a shelf.
On a tape in my night stand I find my mother’s voice;

I like to remember the good times.
I was successful here.

I want to know more−
ask more questions,
see her search for memories
of her young life in Uman.

Things happened that you could never understand.
Why do you want to know about my past, she asks?
You are in America.

8 thoughts on “Ruth – Norma Bradley

  1. Barbara A Feldman

    Hi . It’s your niece. Thank you for this. I can picture the people in my mind. It brings wonderful, warm memories in my heart and soul.
    Thank you for capturing these words on paper.

    Love, Barbara

  2. Alan Sugar

    Dear Norma Bradley,
    I have returned to this poem often since it first appeared this month. Its metaphor and imagery, so eloquently understated, speak powerfully to all children of immigrants in our land. Thank you for sharing your voice!


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