by LeeAnne McIlroy Langton

Years from now
Your grandchildren will
See what you dream of
This last night of your hunger
During the passage from Belfast
Across a sea of storms and slave bones:
In abundance—
Phosphorescent corn bursting from husks,
Blood-colored tomatoes bouncing out of crates
Like giant rubber balls,
Pistachios and almonds raining silently from leafy boughs,
Lettuce heads blossoming open like gardenias,
Grapefruits the size of cannonballs
And oranges as sweet as your grandmother’s final tears
Rolling out of the trees
Swimming into the mouth of the Delta
Washed down with the precious nectar of
The California Aqueduct.
Years from now your granddaughter will
Feel that enchanted sense of deja vu
And you will try to explain to her
(Through the whispers in the grass)
That she is living the vision of the dream you had
The last night on that ship
When you had
Nothing in your stomach
Except a moldy crust of bread
And nothing in your heart
Except the tiniest seeds
Of hope


“The Rainbow’s End” and other poetry by LeeAnne McIlroy Langton will appear in the Green Anthology, a collection of poetry & prose by writers from the U.S., U.K., and Europe — available from Silver Birch Press on March 15, 2013.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LeeAnne McIlroy Langton is a Senior English Language Fellow for The U.S. Department of State and Georgetown University as well as a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach. A native Californian, she earned a BA in Linguistics from UCLA. and an MA in Linguistics from CSULB. In 2011, she was named “Most Valuable Professor” by the Honors Program at CSULB, where she also works as a faculty mentor for first-generation college students. She is the mother of two daughters.

Painting: “Girl with Four-Leaf Clover” by Winslow Homer