I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

To those with ears:
a crisis looms—
the sojourner
is at the door
of our strange land.
Desperate, hopeful,
hungry, tired,
the least of these
lie down by our gate
and wait to be seen
and known as Lord
in the crosshairs
of a scope.

“Depart from me!”
is cocked and drawn—
ready to shatter
the brittle air,
the rigor mortis
of our hearts.

Jan Shoemaker’s essay collection, Flesh and Stones: Field Notes from a Finite World, was published in 2016, and her poetry collection, The Reliquary Earth, was published in 2019. Her work has appeared in many magazines and journals.

Artwork by Emmalene Oysti