I was out at the Music Academy tonight, and there’s a giant fig tree out there. It reminded me of the fig tree near the tracks among whose roots the homeless used to sleep in the old days, before the city fenced them out. I thought about Roger [In Memoriam,“Roger Heroux: Public Health Director, Activist for the Homeless,” 1/11/2010] and came home and wrote this poem (for some reason, though his religion is not mine).

Among the roots
of the great fig left over
from Eden they rest
dreaming of safety—
the lost ones, the forgotten,
above whose exile and distress
you spread wide your arms
even in death, remembered.
There is this: the Christ
still bleeding on a cross
hung round our human necks—
our blessing and our shame.
Some know it. Some do not.
And anonymous saints
who walk among us unknown
silently whisper his name. — Peter Marin


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