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Looting the Town of Jericho

Poetry, Hannah Houser

I remember dancing in Sunday School

all tambourine jangles and ribbons,

blonde hair and blue eyes,

consecrating the walls that

came a-tumbling down,

assured we were on God’s side.

Joshua told the children to shout that morning.

The weeklong march around a city of palm trees,

so long ago you can no longer smell smoke.

A protest Southern Baptists could get behind  

more explosive than anything charred in Minneapolis,

sparing only a sex worker and her family.

This we celebrated.

Right up to the walls of Jericho

They marched with spears in hand.

Now those same voices that

taught me to sing victory in Jesus

type furiously, lamenting scorched gas stations and

broken glass in cities they’ve never seen.

They say these actions invalidate a movement

for life, for breath.

The battle is in my hands.

We glorify the past when it’s passed,

tucked away in the gilded edges

of sacred lore.

Looting Jericho in God’s name

because God told us to.

Then they burned the whole city and everything in it.


Hannah Houser (she/her) is a lifelong East Tennessean, writer, and manager of internationally renowned musicians. She has been a part of the music industry for over a decade and specializes in artist relations and management, community building, and creative content management. She holds undergraduate degrees in English and Art from Carson-Newman University, where she was named the Outstanding Graduate of 2012 in both departments. She has been previously published in The Pigeon Parade Quarterly and The Red Branch Review. She resides with her husband and black cat in Knoxville, TN. She can be found on Instagram at @_hannahbeatrice.


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