Skip to main content

What to say to a refugee, a poem by Mary M. Brown

What to say to a refugee
by Mary M. Brown

       “Home is the place where, when you go there,
            they have to take you in.”    —Robert Frost

is some water, some bread
and, oh, some of Grandma’s
lentil soup 

is the bed you will sleep in,
and this one for your son. If
you need more blankets,
there are some right

is a fresh bar of soap
and a light you can turn on—
see?—if the night becomes
too long

is where we will gather
when we are all awake, have
eggs and toast and talk
about the future—yours
and ours—

is the place we have all
come together, the place we
will learn together anew
to call home

Bio: Mary M. Brown lives and writes in Anderson, Indiana, a Hoosier not by birth but by long residence and disposition. She taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan for many years. Her work appears on the Poetry Foundation and the American Life in Poetry websites and has been published recently in Christian Century, The Cresset, Quiddity, and Justice Journal.