HOWARTH front door
To Make You Welcome
By Stephen Howarth

Another hard morning in hard house-hunting,
standing in wind-whipped rain and knocking for entry:
a high step up to a sheer black door, forbidding, foreboding,
with nothing to hint, “I could be yours, if you want me.”

Then a wispy fey fairy princess showed the way
through a possible acropolis, spacious, capacious,
with excellent acoustics. The house started to sing
“I could be yours, if you want me.”

An imperfect purchase. Stern and dour, the front door stayed
for years, until at last, in a vast salvage yard,
in a barn full of doors, there was one pleading rescue:
“I could be yours, if you want me?”

A century old, with obscure tulip glass and golden-hued pine,
it came from unwanted to its true new home,
bringing brightness and lightness and warm shining rightness.
The old became new. I became its, and it became mine.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I like to work with wood, and once was able to spend most of a year building musical instruments, including a copy of a Stradivarius violin. My front door has been a source of constant joy both for me and for visitors, ever since I found it, dusted it off, measured it, and knew it to be perfect.

HOWARTH North Cape selfie

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Howarth has been an independent professional author of history all his working life. He served in the Royal Naval Reserves, both on the lower deck and as an officer, and wrote the official centenary history of the RNR – for which he was appointed an honorary Commander by HM the Queen. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Life Member of the US Naval Institute and The 1805 Club. He earned a Master’s degree (with Distinction) in creative writing at Nottingham Trent University.