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The Welcome

    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
The Welcome
The National Poetry Series
Selected by Stephen Dunn
University of Illinois Press

Copyright © 2005 by David Friedman.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.

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