A Poem: ‘Welcome’

On an ancient doorway’s threshold
I pause, not contained or released.
A hardwood frame defines departure
and arrival, a permanence the nomad
and refugee seek where they settle at last.

They carry their stories in goatskin
and blanket, in the grime of windshields
and the smell of onion broth, spices
that make scents of the wind that brings
the unfamiliar into parlor and kitchen.

This opening recognizes what a traveler
needs—a small portion of whatever
relieves the road’s weight and rinses
dust from tired shoes, a place protected
from the teeth of wind and sun.

Across a field, a tree opens the hand
of its bare branches, green buds piercing
morning’s chill. By a sturdy hearth
we accept the spaces between words and
silences where we warm to each other.

 

Steve Abbott co-hosts The Poetry Forum, the Midwest’s longest-running poetry reading series, and edits Ohio Poetry Association’s annual journal “Common Threads.” His work has appeared in dozens of journals, including “The Connecticut Review,” “Birmingham Poetry Review,” “Rattle,” and “Spoon River Poetry Review.” He has published four chapbooks of poetry, and his full-length collection, “A Green Line Between Green Fields,” is forthcoming from Kattywompus Press.

 

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Photography by Attilio D’Agostino.

More poems:

“The News” by Stephen D. Schroeder

“Triptych for An American Backyard” by Jay Erickson

“Elegy For A Broken Part” by Alison C. Rollins

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