Who are you?
What do you want here, little one?
Where have you come from?
And why has it taken you so long
to be welcomed in our land of invitation?
Which disgrace has marked you out,
what fault does virtue blame you for?
Are you the withered one who lost out
in the lottery of birth? Were you exposed
a weakling, as the Spartans did,
but given shelter and survived?
Albeit stunted and denied your adolescent rites
of passage by his craving for acceptance?
Who are you now?
Condemned as apostate or heretic or witch?
Seen as undignified, unclean, incestuous,
perverted or a twisted sinful shame?
Emotionally inadequate against a social norm?
Are you gothic with self-hatred and self-harm?
Or form a threat he’ll fight if he can’t flee?
So why does he fear your imperfections?
And prefer his right hand crabbed into a claw
if it lets him pretend the left is clean?
Do you wish to enter in his life (one lived
too wisely but not well) or to change the way he is?
Do you bring – or do you need – forgiveness?