Poetry Friday: Sanctuary

In my classroom, we study words in context. Looking for meaning. This Thursday, the word sanctuary came up in an article on elephants.  Students were unsure.  We looked carefully:

The park in Malawi offers a large fenced-in sanctuary. The elephants being moved there are safe from poachers who want to kill them for their ivory tusks.

It took time. Some thinking.  Students put the pieces together and got it.  A sanctuary is a safe place that offers protection from danger.

I did not connect the word to anything other than our classroom effort to understand.


It took reading this book of poetry written by Jorge Argueta with pictures by Alfonso Ruano.

It took reading this poem-

Santo Toribio

Santo Toribio
saint of the immigrant,
Show us the way.
Don’t let us fall
into the hands of the migra.
and never in the hand of the traffickers,
or worse,  the minutemen.
You who are the good coyote,
protect us, lead us.
Deliver us from all evil. Amen.

Studying this picture.

Reading this poem:

We Are Like the Clouds

We are like the clouds.
We are like the wind.
We are like the butterflies.
We are like the rivers.
We are like the ocean.

For it to sink in. To get it. I am just like my students sometimes. I need to take the time to read and think. Before I put it all together.

I am proud of my city.
Holding on.
Standing up.
Providing sanctuary.

This – we – is the story of our people
who flee evil in hope.
City of the Angels:
May – we – protect and keep you. Amen.


Thank you, Carol, for hosting Poetry Friday!

Read more at her blog Beyond Literacy Link.