From her solitary island abode
we believe she spoke assuredly of the people passing before her,
“They will never abandon me,
because I am offering them freedom.
They will never reject me
because I am showing them kindness.
They will never revile me
because I open my arms to all of them –
the Jews, the Catholics, the Germans,
the Irish, the Italians, then the Muslims,
blacks, browns, Asians and Hindu –
none are excluded.
They will never persecute me
because I extend mercy to all.
They will never despise me
because in their time of need I welcome them equally.
They will never forget me because they stand before me
as the abandoned, rejected, reviled, persecuted, despised
refugee and immigrant refuse from other shores.”
Sadly many years have passed, America’s people have forgotten
from whence they arrived.
Generations have prospered and they, today’s empowered ones,
today’s angry and disillusioned,
today’s wealthy and privileged
look upon our Lady with scorn and derision.
They dishonor the words which have accompanied forever
her island’s welcoming message.
Thus they reject Lady Liberty standing forlorn on her island in the harbor:
“We disown you because you are not today’s American spirit.
Our nation is full, we have no more room.
Your comforting words to immigrants and refugees
are not meant for those on our borders today,
your justice is no longer revered,
your welcome is no longer our voice.
Your words are dead,
a vestige of an America which has passed.
We no longer need nor want you as our beacon.”
She sinks into the harbor – just a memory to those of us who have loved and cherished her beacon of hope, her burning torch, welcoming all people regardless of race, creed or nationality. But, she is not flesh or blood like us, she is spirit and she will resurrect when America’s people once again deserve her charity and blessing.
Until then, may a gracious God find reason to redeem a thankless people.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”