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for the new Plane Seats
by Amy Kenneley

When Grandma came in steerage,
she didn't have the dough
To sit among the swells on board
-her cabin was below.
She shared it with a lot of folks
- their means were very few,
But they all crowded up on deck
when New York came in view.
They stared at "Lady Liberty"
and were convinced that she
Was welcoming them to their new home,
the brave, the rich, the free…

Now I am her descendant,
and it's proud I am to know
How far in wealth and freedom
we've come from long ago.
Today I'm flying on a trip,
departure time's at three-
That's why I came at ten a.m.
-new policies, you see.
My suitcase x-rayed, shoes removed,
I've answered every query.
I haven't set one beeper off,
my comments, sparse and wary.

At last, my Boarding Pass reviewed,
I hear it's time to go,
I clamber past the swells,
relaxed with drinks and comfy throw;
I squeeze around the bundlers,
cramming stuff above - some feat!
I find my place 'way at the back
-Hey, what happened to my seat?
This board they have me strapped onto
is not the way to go-
This is no first-night theater
-so why'm I SRO?

Though Grandma often said we weren't
notated in Burke's Peerage,
We still must be those immigrants
-Good Lord! We're back in steerage!

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