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
the grime.

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,
than within
those who waver at the door
not trusting their right to enter.

And you come to find me,
leaving your guests to usher in
one that lingers.

The dirt of my feet
you don’t tend to mind
although you patiently wait
as I scrape them at the earth.

And my clothes, seen too much wear for me,
you cover with a robe
of lamb's wool, whiter than the whitest snow
that blankets the far hills.

And then you take my hand, 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 fore-front 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 from the start
vacant with my name.

Ana Lisa de Jong

Living Tree Poetry
October 2016