to my friends who are being invited to leave the table.

Come walk with me and put your hand in mine,
and hold it tightly, and know that there’s a grand design
which says that you (and I) will never be alone.
Oh, but first, the thing I have to do is throw this stone
at you, my friend, because I think I should
cast you out, since you’ve stopped being good.
I mean, you are good, as some might use that word,
but used too broadly, the meaning gets obscured.
Specifically, I’d like to see you practice what I preach.
I know that in your mind, you (and I) and all are each
and every one of us the same in the widest sense
of “equal in the eyes of God” but your offense
has been to advertise this fact, and then to doubt
the absolute authority that lets me cast you out!
You know exactly what this loving stone is for—
it’s to help you on your way; now go and sin no more.


  1. Reply
    Grant January 17, 2015

    Well put. Nothing like kicking someone out to demonstrate the depth of our love.

  2. Reply
    Bones January 17, 2015


  3. Reply
    Cruelest Month January 17, 2015

    Beautiful and so painfully true.The spiritual violence of power used to harm instead of hold and heal.

  4. Reply
    Rachel January 17, 2015

    Emily, I stumbled on your poem at FMH and spent the morning reading every post on your blog. You have a lovely voice and write beautiful poetry. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Emily January 17, 2015

      Rachel, thank you very much for your kind, supportive words!

  5. Reply
    Desert Archaic January 17, 2015

    Sums-up the struggle we all face regardless of gender,race,creed,or ethnicity – are we only loved ,equal,and accepted sometimes? – Thank You

  6. Reply
    Terianne January 17, 2015

    I’ve often thought that there are “gate keepers” and there are “shepherds.” I wish there were more shepherds in this world.

  7. Reply
    Ben Tanner January 17, 2015

    um, that was the dumbest poem I’ve ever read. .. And that’s really saying something because there is a lot of stupid poetry out there.

    • Reply
      Emily January 18, 2015

      Wow, Ben, the dumbest poem you’ve ever read? THE DUMBEST?!? Because that really IS saying something. I just took the opportunity to peruse your blog. Keep up the good work, Brother Tanner!

      • Reply
        Sarah January 18, 2015

        Um, that was the dumbest comment I’ve ever read. And that is definitely saying something because there are a TON of rude commenters out there.

        • Reply
          Emily January 18, 2015

          Oh, Sarah, it’s just a matter of time before you and I meet to compare comments and kimchi, and see who’s really taller.

  8. Reply
    Virtual Oases | The Exponent January 24, 2015

    […] poignant poem about acceptance and casting out by Emily Butler. And a Cartoon for a […]

  9. Reply
    Anarene Holt Yim January 24, 2015

    I’m here because of FMH also. I love this poem. What a way with words! I also really appreciated “(sub)ordination.” Thank you.

    • Reply
      Emily January 25, 2015

      You are so very welcome, friend.

  10. Reply

    […] poignant poem about acceptance and casting out by Emily Butler. And a Cartoon for a […]

  11. Reply
    Betty Johnson November 26, 2015

    Thank you for such a lovely poem.

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