Friday night at the IWC* Guest House, by Jonathan Beachy

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Friday night at the IWC* Guest House

The knots in the homemade comforter
Feel like prayers trying to keep the
Hardness of the cold wooden floor
From seeping further into my back

Tonight the house is full of pain, past
Abuse, death, violence, terror—
Beds and sofas are full of guests
But there is floor space, and a comforter

The true comforter, however, is not under my
Back but in the room next door—
Abused, raped, threatened, desperate she
Pled for asylum for ten months

Her midnight songs and prayers opened doors
And now shake the earth in my heart
Rattling my complacence and false
Comfort on a hard wooden floor

—Jonathan Beachy, San Antonio, Texas, has spent a life time caring for and being enriched by persons society often rejects. Currently those persons are special needs students, but historically they have also included prison inmates, and indigenous persons in South America. Volunteering with Interfaith Welcome Coalition has allowed Beachy to see the face of Jesus over and over in the faces of refugee women and children crying out for help, for “caring for one of the least of these, is caring for me” (Jesus).

*Interfaith Welcome Coalition. IWC is a response and presence for refugee women and children who have fled unspeakable horrors in their Central American countries of origin. On their arrival at the Unites States border, they turn themselves in, requesting help. Their “crime” is to have requested help, and so they are detained in for-profit prisons (euphemistically called “Family Detention Centers”) until they can meet bond or are granted asylum.

Editor’s note: I want to thank Jonathan Beachy for being a catalyst for the launching of Kingsview & Co. His asking about venues for publishing poetry like this helped me decide it was time to extend DreamSeeker Magazine, which often published poetry, through this new blog. In light of this, I’m particularly pleased that Jonathan’s is the very first guest post. —Michael A. King

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