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Emma Lazarus Project

The Emma Lazarus Project explores the story of Emma Lazarus, a fifth-generation American Jew caught in an important turning point in American and Jewish History. The initiative—including an exhibit, curriculum and poetry contest—uses primary sources straight from the archive to encourage students to piece together Emma’s fascinating story, and to join the ongoing conversation about American identity.

Postcard to a 71A or C Port Authority Bus Driver

by Micaela Fox Corn




Hi, stranger. No really,
we don’t know each other. But I think
about you these days. Between the hours of 5 & 7

when your bus would fill up so full
of office-tired bodies in Oakland that you had to yell—
Move Back—at every stop & sometimes

even had to blow past huddled masses on Centre Street
because there was just no room,
do you miss that? Do you miss

piloting a window-fogged sardine can? Do you miss
the thankyous with no eye contact?
The last person to get off the bus

at the last stop,
even before they get on? I’m doing okay,
I guess. I walk past stops on your route sometimes,

try to count how many people are with you.
I don’t like to think of you lonely
but I’m also not offering my company, either.

The truth is I’m scared
to ride when I could walk & ashamed I ever stopped.
I’m nervous to see you again after so long,

when the weather turns cold.
But maybe you don’t miss these parties,
and will be glad to see the hustle, through the wind,

of people running to catch up to you, the last of your fleet
to be heading home in the dark,
the LED Destinator announcing

the terminal, penultimate trip of the day,
East Liberty Bus Station
to rest.