poetry

gypsies and strangers

it was holy week when i met you
coming up from the woods
an eyeblink
and a lifetime ago
you had been planting eggs
— a prosaic occupation —
but the look in your wild eyes
belied any welcome
i might have muttered

how many epochs have we lived since then?
how many roads have your wheels rolled down?
i am beginning to have forgotten

once upon when i was young
a bird carried me through the sky
to a land of ancient newness
and there, unbeknownst to me
my heart planted a part of itself
since then ‘home’ has never
been the same, and i feel
an eternal tug in two directions
even if i run around the world
just to come back again
i am off in spirit the moment after

so i understand (i think)
a splinter of your longing
a fragment of your yearning
to get back to that piece of your heart
and belong again
for once, wholly

but therein lies the problem
(which you know as well as i)
that ‘home,’ here, is never
really anywhere
and, in this part of the story
we are sojourners on the earth
as odd as that sometimes seems

i have lived in my house of bricks
since the earliest limits of memory
and nothing has shaken the citadel
yet still something sometimes whispers
that ‘home’ is beyond the horizon
and i wake a stranger in a strange land

will you find it finally
at the end of the world
hearth-light glowing
bread and wine
gracing the table?
and will you no more go a-roving?

or will we all ways wander
saints with the Son in our eyes
until we cross the borders of time?
for there on the other side
His heart is the only Home
we’ve ever longed to know.

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