©Sophia Auer, 2009

©Sophia Auer, 2009

for my friends on my fiftieth birthday

You’re up there now on the scaffolding
Taking a break.
One of you pours coffee
From a steel thermos,
Another skips an orange peel
Across the pond of the air.
One of you talks with your mouth
Full of ham sandwich,
Telling a story so funny
That the others dab at their eyes.

I thought you only read books
And kept your nails clean,
But there you are,
Welding the cracks of my heart,
Flowing the seams silver
And smooth as waves on a beach.
Shimmering, reticulate,
My heart has never been so beautiful
And so whole.

©Tom Dunlap, 2009

Tom Dunlap is an alumnus of the 1993 BAWP summer invitational program, a devoted regular at the spring writing retreat, and a teacher in the Young Writers’ Camp for several summers.  He taught English in Nebraska and California for 18 years before choosing to go solo as a tutor for high school and middle school students in English, math, and test preparation; he also substitute teaches.  He loves his wife and children, writing, humor, and his gifted dog Satchel.

7 Responses to “Welding My Heart by Tom Dunlap”

    1. Tom Dunlap Says:


      Your single word of praise made my morning! Thank you!


  1. theresasanders Says:

    I love it. It makes me want to go to the cricible.

  2. theresasanders Says:

    I mean crucible?

  3. mochi2222 Says:

    My favorite line is the one about skipping an orange peel across the pond of air. Also I love the voyeristic feeling of the poem – watching someone you love when they are unaware.

  4. supereslteacher Says:

    How wonderful to be the recipients of this beautiful poem on the occasion of your birthday! I can almost hear that funny story!

  5. Judy Bebelaar Says:

    Tom – it’s beautiful and wonderful!


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