Duplicity … resurrecting Emma Lazarus

Todd Jenkins, Presbyterian pastor in Fayettesville, Tennessee, (USA) has a wonderful weekly poetry and photography blog. “Duplicity,” which follows, is only one example of his weekly online presence but he has also just recently published a lovely collection — Tuesday’s Muse — Visual and Verbal Appetizers for the Great Banquet of your Life.


I dedicate this to all those who are immigrants, God’s most chosen, and particularly those who are threatened.


Give me your tomatoes,
your peppers, your hybrid  melons,
yearning to be consumed,
but not so much your tired,
your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.

The wretched refuse of bowing
to chemicals and corporations
has our shores teeming with toxicity,
and our hearts quivering with xenophobia.

The tempest-tossed who dream
of hope will not so much be met
with lamp at golden door
as laser sight and incarceration.

All the while, our consumptive greed
turns a blind eye to the duplicity
of deportation and the rending
of family’s fabric, to which
we claim undying allegiance.

Who will resurrect liberty?
© 2013 Todd Jenkins

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
― Emma Lazarus

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One Response to Duplicity … resurrecting Emma Lazarus

  1. Thanks for the ‘harvest’ of irony. Especially the picture. And over and over, the false piety that church culture has taught, raising thanks to the wrong image of God, and emptying pews, as people sense that this piety is somehow false. Table grace was truer when it was our hands working the fields. We do not notice, or account for, how our changed world requires changes in our pieties, our direct connections, to God and one another. Emma L knew. The farm pickers know.

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