I am a beggar at your door,
the steps rising before my hesitant feet.
I can hear the sounds within
your kingdom drawing me,
despite my lack of confidence.
My feet unclean,
I could wipe them more than once
and they would still not shed
So I turn and sit at the foot
of your steps,
content if I hear nothing
else but the sounds of this place,
if I do not move from here.
For this is where I feel at ease
one foot in and one foot out,
not to soil the floor of a house
too good for me.
I am beggar, come hopeful guest,
and you know I am here.
More aware of those without,
those who waver at the door
not trusting their right to enter.
And you come to find me,
leaving your guests to usher in
those that linger at the entrance.
The dirt of my feet
you don’t tend to mind,
although you patiently wait
as I scrape at the earth.
And my clothes, seen too much wear for me,
you cover with a robe of lamb’s wool
whiter than the last of the snow
blanketing the hills.
And then you take my hand, and grasp tight in welcome.
As though, I had not been gone,
as though, there were no question of my belonging
here, in this kingdom
wider within than without
with walls extending
beyond the extent of my vision.
Roof higher than my eyesight’s reach,
and a table longer than comprehension
where guests sit joyous and replete.
That I might be one of them?
That I might find my place set?
Is the silent question,
always at the forefront of my mind.
But without doubt,
you know the answer.
You who have come to seek those
who think themselves lost.
You hold a spot vacant
bearing my name.
Ana Lisa de Jong
Image: Charles Mackesy