Welcome Mat



Welcome Mat

If my heart were a house it would be built up strong with bricks…

But a little rickety in some places.

Floorboards that squeak underfoot

A foundation that slopes toward the south end so every

Chair with wheels rolls away of its own accord

What can I say?

I’m not an architect

The front of my heart is painted pink, bright

Bubblegum, fun--It’s not a facade, I promise

I just want everyone else to see only the best parts of me and not

The kitchen sink filled with dishes

The dark cobwebbed corners

The newspapers piled on the stoop when I can’t get up and face the sun

So when I throw open the windows to

Air out the spirits, they’re only to the back of the house

Not painted at all, no facade. I take out the trash, I pull the weeds, I feed the birds.

But I don’t sit on the back steps with a cup of coffee,

Watching the sun rise

There’s a wreath on the front door and coffee brewing and

A welcome mat that says something funny like “bring tacos” or

“Nice underpants.”

The door isn’t locked, I promise,

But it does stick a little so just pull really hard

You gotta try really hard

My house, like myself, is hard to convince: do you like us?

When you compliment the flowers in the front yard, do you really mean that?

When you say “no” or nothing or “okay,”

What do you mean by that? Did we say something wrong?

Do you like us?


Sorry, I got off track

If my heart was a house I’d put all the wallpaper up myself, big, floral,

Hurt-your-eyes bright, and get that built in floor heating,

You know, so we could always stay warm even on the coldest days

I’d make us drinks,

Let you pick the music

And we could play scrabble

Drop by anytime. All you have to do is knock

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Rikki RiveraComment