One sonnet can imbue a history
With upright strength when shouted prose demands
It bow to fear or riches. Emma writes
Though publishers refuse her name in print,
Though civil rights do not include her vote,
Though literati fear that Jewish friends
Will taint their reputation, Emma writes.
She writes a sonnet for the statue-gift,
And crafts a climax that the immigrant
Will need to hear, will recognize as mirror:
“Your poor, your tired, your huddled”—these her blood
Knows like an heirloom—so she smiths a key
To foil the forces in each age that shrink
Before the stranger, lock the golden door.