Dear Syrian Refugees

Dear Syrian Refugees,

You are welcome in my home.

Not everyone welcomes you,
not in their country, not in their city,
not on the streets where they walk their dogs,
stopping only to let them urinate on trees.

These are sacred lands, they say,
and your hands are dirty. But my porch light
is always on. My door is always open.

I have a futon in the front room
and a bookcase full of poetry
from Levine to Rumi if you get bored.
And there are picture books too,
leftover from my children
who have graduated
to bigger words
like scared,
like starving,
like survival.

My 7-year-old son has a bunk bed.
He says you can have the bottom
because he likes the top. It makes him
feel like an airplane pilot every night
when he climbs into the cockpit of his bed
where his dreams take flight.

He's even set aside stuffed animals
for your sons and daughters who might
want to cuddle something more than fear
and the heartbreaking chill of despair.

Our house is warm. I know
the oceans you've crossed
have been cold. Rain and winter
have beaten your bodies down,
but still you have the strength
to keep your spirits up and moving.

When you get to my house, there will be rest.
There will be hot tea and dinner.
There will be laughter.
There will be safety.
You will be home.

At least, I hope it will feel that way
if only for a moment.