The Welcome / by Jeff Jones

by David Joel Friedman


Do you wish to immigrate to my heart? Where are your

papers?  What are your purposes?

                Are you lost?  Are you broken?  Come to the chamber of

my heart for safety.  Remember the old country.  I was not there.  I was waiting for you here.

                Do you wish to be naturalized in my arms?  Let me instruct you in the new tongue.  Tread softly;

Death too first makes inquiry, then shows the way.

                Come, pledge allegiance to my tattered proud flag.  Here,

And here only, the streets are paved with gold.

David Joel Friedman (2006). The Welcome.  The National Poetry Series.  Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, p. 13.