Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On the Willows There

by Joan Maruskin, Church World Service

By the waters of the Rio Grande
By the waters of the Rio Grande,
There we sat down and there
  We wept
  When we remembered Zion.

On the willows there
We hung up our guitars

For there the Border Patrol
Asked us for songs

And the vigilantes asked for laughter
Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land

By the waters we weep and we remember
  We remember Mexico and El Salvador
  We remember Burma and Tibet
  We remember Colombia and Chile
  We remember Cuba and Haiti
  We remember Darfur, the Congo, and Romania

By the waters we remember

On the willows we hung up our guitars
  We hung up our hopes
  We hung up our homes, our land, our dreams
  We hung up our poverty, our hunger, and our thirst
  We hung up our friends, our traditions and our culture
  We hung up our family ties, our food, and our language

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

We sing only the song of the homeless, the unemployed
  The laments of hunger and thirst, of death and destruction
  The songs of the songless, the hungry, the thirsty
  The songs of the dying.

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

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