an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2021-22

 

Paul Richmond

THE DOOR
     Fr Prospective Immigrants Please Note, Adrienne Rich

One of my grandfathers

Told a story

About him being a child

Coming to this country

That a brother met him

At Immigration

Told him

His name was Richmond

Kept repeating

Tell them you are a Richmond

His real name

Is never remembered

By his kids

The grandkids

Don’t know it

Another story was

Everyone within a two-block area

All changed their names

To the same name

From then on

Back room conversation

Before wedding

Were needed

When looking for work

If they heard your name

They would hang up the phone

If you gave them a name they liked

You could at least show up

Get your foot in the door

When then saw you

They knew you didn’t match the name

At least you got your foot in the door

Sometimes it would be

Slammed

The ones who survived

Found ways

To get their foot

In the door

Paul Richmond performs nationally and internationally,  including in Ghana, Sweden and Senegal; and with the project Do It Now. He was named Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Festival twice, and U S National 2019 -2020. More info at www.humanerrorpublishing.com