Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Sanctuary. Sanctuary. All that lives needs sanctuary.
--William Stafford, Citizen Here on Earth

Breathe it. Where you feel safe.
Georgia outlawed sanctuary cities in 2009.
California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Colorado are sanctuary states.
Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine are sanctuary cities.
So are Beaverton and Clatsop. So is South Tucson
but not the rest of Tucson, Phoenix, or Scottsdale.

Seattle, Puyallup, Kent,
Boston, Amherst, Cambridge:
safe. Breathe free. Chicago. New York City
where the lady lifts her lamp above the harbor.
North Dakota: State Penitentiary and South West Multiple County Corrections Center
are sanctuaries.

Dallas but not Houston. Montpelier, Winooski.
Sanctuary landscape changes fast. Watch the news.
Small towns make tough calls: federal dollars
can mean loss of elder care, Meals on Wheels,
road and sewer work. Hard choices for public servants.
We can't guarantee protection.
We can't protect ourselves
from the blackmailers and bullies
we've put in charge.

Breathe where you feel safe. It's hard.
Some days anxiety clutches your throat
pounds your heart against the inside of your chest
darkens the bright sky that arches over
your new home, your old home,
my home, this place we share.
Sky that wraps around this entire earth.
Maybe I can't protect you.
I will hold your hand.

List of sanctuary states, counties and cities, circa January 2017

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Martin Kloess said...

Well written poem