This is Why I’m Telling You This

APTOPIX Turkey Migrants

There is something I want to tell you
but it starts when we are far from home.
Stay with me.
Come along.
Don’t get lost.

Sometimes we drive back to our house late
at night, on long straight roads
from a friend’s place
after most people are sleeping.
We enter the city on Walnut, street
lights flashing on the windshield
a slow strobe revealing
our five children
eyes the shape of new moons
mouths agape, breathing in
the light that hits all of us
as if we are planets, spinning.

I try but cannot avoid all the potholes,
and the truck lurches. The kids’ heads
are on swivels,
fall to their opposite shoulder
they lick their lips and settle back
to sleep, mouths drifting open
again. Who knows where they are? What
universe their dreams have dragged
them to?

If we’re lucky there’s a parking spot
in front of the house beside the peeling
sycamore. But usually we must circle around,
park in an orbit
somewhere down Prince, across
from the minor league ballpark where we
sat in the sun just last month, roasting,
gulping down water,
soaking in the summer.

At that time of night,
when we return late from our friend’s house,
our truck is
light-years from home.

Or a few hundred yards. But this
is why I’m telling you this.
Because we wake up the four oldest and
they grumble-stumble
down the cracked sidewalk
past the shadows, past the alleyways, around
the corner, towards home.

This is why I’m telling you this.

Because I
take 1-year-old Leo from his seat and his
arms hang limp, his legs sway like
two separate clocks
keeping the time, counting the seconds
as they drip through the dark night. And
the movement of Leo’s legs reminds

of the little boy carried by the soldier,
his tiny legs swinging at the knees,
his waterlogged shoes
measuring the
seconds in drips, measuring
the time it takes to clear
the beach.

These are the longest moments
of all.

* * * * *

To find out how your church can help with the refugee crisis in Syria, please visit the website We Welcome Refugees.

Preemptive Love is a wonderful organization providing relief, education, and medical support to refugees throughout the region. Check out their work HERE.

Or find something else to do. We can all do something.

One Reply to “This is Why I’m Telling You This”

  1. “Find something else to do.” As long as it’s not mounting a defense for why we shouldn’t help. This is where I’m at: I’d rather do something than nothing. Thanks for the push forward.

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