Mija and Mr. Cohan

Published in Hawaii Pacific Review, 2013

I push mija down

Seventh and Forty-Seventh

past Mr. George Cohan

and his stern, stone gaze.


My daughter, my mija

looks but then looks away.

It’s humid in Times Square

but all she knows

is the kaleidoscopic zigzag



I push the stroller quickly

past the hubbub and bustle,

the hand-helds hovered over,

the noise of our times,

and I wince.

The great avalanche of modern culture

has iced over the days

of George Cohan.

Yankee Doodle stands tall

but over there

is no longer here.


But a man can still hope,

romantics will always pine,

and as I turn mija around

for one more run-by

I think of my little lass,

how I’ll teach her the past.

And though I’ll wince again, she’ll win.



A bickering couple moves by, noisy.

Youths strut with their piercings and ink.

Our stroller zips by senor Cohan,

I give him a quick nod,

and he tips his hat.