Selected by Debie Thomas

Pat Schneider

Welcoming Angels

Between the last war
and the next one,
waiting for the northbound train
that travels by the river,
I sit alone in the middle of the night
and welcome angels.
Welcome back old hymns, old songs,
all the music, the rhyme and rhythm,
welcome angels, archangels,
welcome early guesses,
at the names of things,
welcome wings.
I have grown tired of disbelief.
What once was brave is boring.
Welcome back to my embrace stranger,
visitor beside the Jabbok.
Welcome wrestling until dawn,
until it is my hip thrown out of joint,
my pillow stone, my ladder
of antique assumptions.
Welcome what is not my own:
glory on top rung, coming down.

Pat Schneider (1934–2020) was an American writer, poet, writing teacher and editor. She published five books of poetry: Another River: New and Selected Poems” (2005) “The Patience of Ordinary Things” (2003) Olive Street Transfer (1999) Long Way Home (1993), and White River Junction (1987)

Debie Thomas: debie.thomas1@gmail.com

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