“A Welcome Remembered”

Ten years ago this month, I sat alone
In mere subsistence, hardly worth the price,
And dreary sadness I could not describe
Had it permitted me to think to try.
Then, almost like the Spirit bringing Truth,
You interrupted what I thought I knew
To introduce yourself and call me on,
Then poked and dragged me into better things.
For this outpouring of familial love,
Including me in fellowship and fun
As though we were at first what we became,
I will, to God and you, be ever grateful.

The Meal by Jan Steen

When I was reminded of the passage of time a couple of months ago (see my earlier-posted, but later-written, poem “Hodie decennis”, and my comments about it), I realized that this month (plus or minus a week or two) would mark ten years since I was somewhat forcibly invited to join a loud and boisterous group at dinner in the Calvin dining hall, a group in whose fellowship I enjoyed the remainder of my time there, and several of whom I still keep in as close contact with as I can. (Thank you!) So I began this poem in late August, producing approximately the above, and after some false starts (thinking it should have at least another few lines) gave it its final form in the middle of last month.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

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