A Prayer for All

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Praying for peace
as petals fall.
Praying for families,
divided by war.
Praying for refugees

scattered like seeds
in stormwinds,
rootless, homeless,
remembering
brighter days.

Seeking shelter. Welcome.
Needing to forget sharks
that follow ships and
the dislocation of owning
only what one can carry.

Rich in hope, in motion,
bringing color, traditions,
and the light of
indomitable spirits.
Full of possibility.

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: As the world focuses on investigations, threats, terrorism, missile tests and twitter diplomacy, we can’t forget the people who flee violence, starvation and war. As my ancestors did. Perhaps if we go far enough back in history, migration might be the one thing all our ancestors have in common. My Irish ancestors arrived safely, but many did not. Sickness forced burials at sea — so frequently, sharks followed the ships. Not everyone who arrived was welcomed. “Irish Need Not Apply” signs in windows was a deeper ache than starvation. We can’t help the sharks, but we can provide a welcome. Compassion. Humanity. A chance at a new life with dignity.

Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks to Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link for hosting.

The US Supreme Court allowed the administration to enforce part of its Muslim ban against those without close family or business ties here. As a result, the administration has declared that close family does not include grandparents. Surreal. And wrong.

55 thoughts on “A Prayer for All

    • It’s a lot to take in. Sometimes watching the news is a bit like watching the weather to see if the big storm is going to hit directly or move off toward the sea. High ground is my preferred spot. 🙂

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  1. We must pray for and work for the refugees. No matter how grim the big picture of our country becomes, we must maintain the spirit and strength of our great nation in the small deeds we can do person-to-person.

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  2. Heartbreaking. My grandfather was a teenage refugee, who changed his family’s names and forbid them from speaking anything other than English so they would “fit in”. That was decades ago. I would’ve hoped that we’d come further than that, but we still have so far as a world to go. I can only dream that a day will one day come when people won’t need to claim refuge in foreign lands because they can live peacefully in whatever place they call home. Until that day, all we can do is try to make the world as positive a place as we can, in whatever little way we can.

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    • Thanks for adding your voice and your experience. We can all learn by remembering what we already know. We all need a hand. A second chance. A fresh start. At times. I always think of that phrase, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” If my children were in danger from bombs, I would take what I could carry and try to take them to safety. Who are we to judge refugees in our safe houses, free from drone strikes, stray bullets and bombs? Your grandfather was a brave man, who let go of his traditions and memories to help his kids become citizens. That is the indomitable spirit I see in first generation immigrants. Whether they choose to hold their traditions tight or let them fall like petals, they are doing the best they know how. So brave. They should be honored. Not feared. I hate that certain politicians are distracting our attention from things that matter with trivialities and crudities. XOXO

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  3. Thank you for this prayer for peace, Brenda. I feel helpless to make any difference for the “refugees scattered like seeds/in stormwinds.” The lack of empathy in people truly astounds me. I will hold on to your final hope-filled stanza.

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    • All of us matter. I believe that if we are silent in the face of bewildering wrong, we participate in the harm done. But I’m more of a poet than an activist. I felt like speaking. Maybe the Supreme Court won’t hear me, but at least I’ve said my piece.

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  4. Your message is clear, it’s time to ignore that ‘circus’ & focus on what’s important, people! Beautifully written, Brenda. I was so disappointed that the court is allowing those policies to be implemented. Wishing already for change in what’s happening!

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  5. A powerful post, Brenda. It reminded me of Eleanor Roosevelt’s words: “What has happened to us in this country? If we study our own history we find that we have always been ready to receive the unfortunates from other countries, and though this may seem a generous gesture on our part, we have profited a a thousand fold by what they have brought us.”

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