I was a proud Norwegian American –
I eat a lot of herring,
also lefse, smorbrod, and other things
you would consider tasteless.
I savor every page of Sigrid Undset
endure Ibsen, love the lush music of Grieg,
have a photograph
on the wall of the stave church
where my family was married.
I call it Jul and hang heart baskets
on my tree.
I tried rosemaling
but I am not very good at it.
When Trump was elected
my expression resembled
the most famous picture
of our artist Edward Munch.
Now I would like to be
a proud Haitian American,
a proud Sudanese American,
a proud Salvadoran American.
I was a proud Norwegian American,
but not so much these days —
though the truth is
that I am not so much embarrassed
at the first part of my heritage.
as deeply ashamed at what
Photo – me in front of the Norwegian gift of a tree in Union Station Washington DC December 2017
Photo credit Betsy Thomassen