Not Saints

"Don't call us saints; we don't want to be dismissed that easily." –Dorothy Day

you made your saints

clean

pleasant

safe

preserved them attractively within

stained glass portraits

polished medals

strung on

fine gold chains

forgotten inside

grandmothers' jewelry boxes

immobilized

as ceramic painted

figurines

with childish smiles

graciously receiving

no more attention

than ceremonial nods

from polished pulpits

pittance tithes

and your mumbled prayer

for an ailing aunt

at the other end

of a two dollar candle

don't trivialize us

sanitizing

this make-the-earth-quake-movement

under the same

bleeding-martyr-eyes-rolled-to-heaven

classification

let us prove

we are not saints

we are dirty

ugly

dangerous

living where windows are broken

streets stained

with blood

scarred by explosives

chains drag down

our wrists

our ankles

like brutal medals

awarded by a world

that does not approve

we are moving

playing, singing, dancing

among children

whose faces have forgotten

how to shatter stoic sadness

with a smile

uncomfortably

commanding your attention

calling not

for cash and coins

rather demanding

risk-filled revolution

pushing away

from the pulpits

back to people

too poor to tithe

too brokenhearted

for prayer

dangerously present

we inspire more

questions

than answers

because

a two dollar candle

won't feed the children

will you?