The Country We Need Be

Emma Lazarus in 1883
wrote the words
some of which adorn the
Statue of Liberty:
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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Now in great fear we shout
“Keep them out!”
and buy guns more and more
ready to kill them
when they cross the border
and before they land on shore,
and all we accomplish is
to fill each other with bullet holes
as we sacrifice our national soul.
Guns and more guns we hoard and hoard
not knowing that those who
“Live by the sword, die by the sword.”
So hearken to words eternal
and let go of hate infernal:
“Fear not,” and trust that “the fruit
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,”
so brothers and sisters, “let us put
on a heart of compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience;
bearing with one another, and for-
giving each other….Beyond all
these things put on love, which
is the perfect bond of unity.”
and maybe, just maybe
we could become the
great country
we need to be —
a shining flame of

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