Safe Harbors

Now–a church in Philadelphia,

a sanctuary harboring


as medieval churches

once harbored



Then–my grandparents,

immigrants escaping

hate, fear, pogroms,

the shtetl, the Pale—



to faraway ports–


chasing the American dream

through the Depression


always seeking a safe harbor–beyond


Lillian at dVerse has asked us to write a quadrille using the word harbor.



49 thoughts on “Safe Harbors

  1. The connection between these time periods in reiterating the need for a safe-harbor for everyone is well done. No one leaves their home out of a vehement desire to be uprooted from their countries; it is this uprooting that has to be contextualized for correcting the attitude towards refugees. It’s disheartening to see the policies of governments that are not sensitive to the demands of humanity and well-being of all.
    Very well-penned.

  2. I admire a country, church or a home that welcomes immigrants and provides a safe habor. Your grandparent’s journey is a familiar story that I read and see here in Canada. Thanks for the personal share.

  3. I just received campaign literature indicting Claire McCaskill (our Dem. Senator up for re-election) for voting “to protect funding for sanctuary cities” (ALL CAPS!). They need a better strategy, because I don’t think they were trying to get me to vote for her, which I plan to do, anyway.

    • Thank you, Ken. That’s great. It seems like a lot of GOP strategies are failing lately–I hope it’s enough. I wonder how many other people felt the same way you did receiving that campaign literature–I hope it’s many!

  4. I like the way your quadrille shifts between present and past and links them with the theme of a safe harbour, Merril. History does tend to repeat itself and humans, although they never seem to learn from their mistakes, are able to accept others and share what they have – not just in the name of religion.

    • Thank you, Björn. Yes, I guess it goes in cycles, but we certainly hear about it more quickly now. Same fears of persecution, violence, poverty, etc. in the old country, and fears of if they can be accepted in the new.

  5. Thanks for this reminder! The church has been a safe harbor for many, especially for those escaping oppression. Our sermon tonight was on Christian hospitality…to our loved ones AND strangers.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.