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Tuesday August 4th 2020

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HOW DO YOU TREAT THE STRANGER AT YOUR DOOR

By Barb Tilsen

How do you treat the stranger at your door

The one who comes in need of comfort

with no place to sleep

Little food

Just the few possessions they can carry in one move

This question is before us all around the world

People displaced, on the move

from the dangerous and intolerable

The refugee, the homeless

the one seeking harbor and safety

at the border, on your doorstep

fleeing the storms of the world

How do we treat the stranger at our door

Like the Lady in the harbor raising the torch

poetry in her arms welcoming all to this shore

Or with barbed wire, the wall, the guns, the fear

It all comes home to rest in our front yard now

Just across the street in our beloved park

Yes we need compassion and love

But the harsh reality of hunger, unmet needs

of no place else to go

demands concrete solutions

As neighbors we act to meet the need

Bring food and supplies

We call and organize in all the ways we know to

pressure the city, the park, the county, the state

To answer 

Not with elusive shifting drifting responsibility 

or bureaucratic dysfunction and entanglements

Not to keep people languishing in tents

But to find the solution that is safe for all

Respectful, effective and long lasting

This is not the first nor the last time

we will need to answer

How do we treat the stranger at our door

©  Barbara S. Tilsen

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