Explore O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press offerings on Amazon.
Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.

Claudia Serea

The Statue of Liberty goes home to Brooklyn

Unveiling the Statue of Liberty by Edward Moran

She counts her money and decides
it’s enough for today.

An invisible hand switches on
the lights in the city —
time to get off the pedestal, folks.

Her feet hurt.

It’s been a long day standing,
holding the torch up high,
posing for small change,

and a tooth has been bothering her.

All those faces,
the roar
and shuffle of the crowds,
the tide
of all the people
and cars,
so tiring.

Oh, how she’d like to tell them
to fuck off,

each hand that clicks a camera,
each clueless smile,

C’mon, man,
get off my face.

You people don’t know
each one of you is eating
through my bones.

At this point,
all she wants is
to go home and shower,

take off that crusty coat,
the gloves, the boots,
the heavy crown,

and let the green paint run
with all the city noise and smells,

run down the drain.


About the writer:
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet with poems and translations published in Field, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, The Puritan, Oxford Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Writing on the Walls at Night (Unsolicited Press, 2022). Serea won the Joanne Scott Kennedy Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of Virginia, the New Letters Readers Award, and the Franklin-Christoph Merit Award. Her poems have been translated in French, Italian, Russian, Arabic, and Farsi and featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Her collection of selected poems translated into Arabic, Tonight I’ll Become a Lake into which You’ll Sink, was published in 2021. She is a founding editor of National Translation Month, serves on the board of The Red Wheelbarrow Poets, and co-hosts their monthly readings.

Image: Unveiling the Statue of Liberty by Edward Moran (1829-1901). Oil on canvas. No size specified. 1886. Public domain.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.