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Poem of the week: Words Were Changing by Miller Oberman

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A reflection on the meaning of welcome, this etymologically alert work is calm and joyful

Thanked for kindness, I said
you’re welcome, and welcome
spun back to what it meant,
before. Welcome, come
in, in accord with my will.
Come into warmth, you
are wanted, were waited
for. Welcome to these
arms, spread out, exposing
the bearer’s heart.
You are well come, it is well
you have come for me.

And if night swallows
us, it will be well, we
will be welcome –
the gates swing wide,
the bridge arcs tenderly
up over the river.
I laid a path, pruned
trees for your body
to pass through.
My bread, your bread.
My rafters, yours, timber
above our heads, or
to float on.

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