McKinney 2016: Honorable Mention Poetry

in Creative Writing/McKinney Contest/Poetry

Blue Letters

Amanda Schleicher

Light dangling from the peaked wooden roof illuminates

shuffling feet meeting the stretched out bristles

of the mat – Welcome, welcome.

Timeworn but sturdy, frayed only around its edges,

at the foot of this house,

next to pink ceramic frog with glass eyes.

It greets all who enter,

Not-so-little John, returning from college,

his new girl, Sarah with the lime streaks in her hair.

Their steps march right past, never giving a glance to

thin blue letters curling across musty gray

background proclaiming “ALL ARE WELCOME”.

Dark stains smudge the bottom of the “M” and “E” from presents

left by Archibald the cat,

a different kind of welcome.

Cars pull up, crackling on scattered stones.

The door swishes open and greetings called,

warmth spilling into the dark night.

The many feet are gathered

inside, leaving behind the first reception.

Already they have forgotten.  The mat

stays outside, at the ready, always on duty.

When can it follow

the steps inside?

All are welcome, all but one.