No offense meant to any New Yorkers. The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a brutally funny play. Elphaba and Glinda are from Wicked, an excellent play and book.


Beneath us, the ground roars.

Impatient, we hurry on,

Ignoring each and every sign,

Content and secure, focused

On how high we stand—

We can nearly touch the sky

From the roof of some buildings,

And already we fly in the stars.


I stare at the holes and blink back tears.

Five years ago I sat in class

And watched the Towers fall.

I asked over and over What happened?

What's going on? What's wrong?

The words on the wall speak of

Faith and hope and love and standing tall.

The holes, where once they did, speak for themselves.


I walk the streets and ride the subways

And wince in the back of the cab.

I'm certainly not from a small town,

But this city moves so fast, and is so loud,

So bright—blindingly bright.

I cannot find my own way and toddle in her wake,

My mother—and I thank heaven for her.

Without her, this city would swallow me whole.


The market and stores are welcoming,

And the vendors so happy—

Where is the New York of TV?

I was warned of rudeness and eyes never meeting,

Of no Thank you or You're welcome, of no sir or ma'am

I always say all,

But no rudeness stands out.

Most are kind, ready to help.


The ferry takes just this side of forever,

But the ride is almost fun.

We walk 'round Lady Liberty, my mother and I,

Jostling for place in the crowd

And avoiding other's pictures.

She stands tall, strong, a beacon—

The sign of all my country speaks of.

And all I can think is What happens when you fall?


The top of the world—the horizon stretches forever.

The city is small below us, Lady Liberty tiny.

I wonder what it'd feel like to fly off the Empire State Building.

Leap and you'll find your wings, the proverb goes—

Will wings sprout from my back?

Or wingless, will Iplummet tothe ground?

I stare at the sky, wind cool on my face,

And long to fly, away into the sun.


The city is so loud, so fast, so bright.

The shows are fun, and so's the wandering—

But the subway shrieks and the honking never ends.

I miss home. Nothing's like I expected.

Rarely is, come to think of it.

Almost I regret picking New York—

Almost. Because, perhaps I'm better for it,

Being so far out of my depth.


Planes rides are not fun for me,

Never truly have been.

Such a small space, no stretching room.

And they, truly, shouldn't be able to leave the ground.

I look out the window, in awe;

We are so high—I can almost imagine

How God might feel, watching the world.

Almost. I doubt He's ever felt terrified of falling from the sky.


Parts of the city are almost peaceful.

I can nearly believe we're home,

Strolling along in familiar territory.

I think This isn't the city that never sleeps.

It's the city of insanity, the city that needs medication.

I glance at the buildings that stretch longingly for the sky,

At the people bustling to and fro,

At the homeless and the wealthy,

And those, like me, in between.

I listen to every language spoken

And watch all the different forms and colors—

This is truly the melting pot of the Melting Pot.


Beneath us, as we walk towards Times Square,

The ground shudders and roars.

The sky expands forever, into infinity—

I remember Ground Zero and The Lieutenant of Inishmore,

I remember the Statue and my longing to fly.

I remember laughing in F.A.O Schwarz

And with my mother about stuff that will only ever be funny to us—

And I cannot regret the noise and the hurry and lights that never stop shining.


Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

So sing Glinda and Elphaba, and they've the right of it.

I don't know what I expected, months and weeks and days ago.

But this is not it. Not even close.

That much I know for certain.

And yet—I have been changed.

Liberty holds a torch to the sky

And they rebuild where the Towers fell.


I remember looking towards forever

And I've never felt so small.


Beneath us, the ground recedes.

We take wing and hurry home.