(from the one small church I love, Maranatha Indonesian, UCC, 18 people will be taken by October. More than 50 will be deported from Seacoast New Hampshire alone and these are certainly not the first. Some have been placed in detention. None of these are criminals. Many are children. They work, speak English, contribute to our community, care for the poor of all ethnicities, dance in our home town festivals, are celebrated scholars in our schools. Please pray, write, witness.)
I made a hard rowing in America this year,
and I thought I saw many ghosts
on the water in the storm.
Surely these spirits were long dead —
Jim Crow and the KKK,
the haunt of Japanese internment camps,
of hatred against workers,
women in modest dress,
and people learning English,
the spirit that claimed
God gave the land
to white people, and created
the Trail of Tears, residential schools,
and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I made a hard rowing
in petitions and marches and vigils
toward a shoreline
of welcome for all refugees,
care for the earth and the climate,
protection for those who vote,
safety for women
against laughing predators,
and for black children
from those who protect and serve.
It has bent my back
but never touched my skin.
I have not been smallboated
in the tsunami tearing families apart,
and I have not heard
the knocking of ICE at the door
in the middle of the night.
It is to you, my friends, Christ walks —
across the tumult of deportation.
When your doubts are deep,
when home and friends and church
and family and work are lost,
you will not sink,
you will not drown –
for Christ comes walking
against the winds of unkindness
and will lift you up.
And we can only send
a flotilla of our broken planks of love,
and pray for you a holding on.