The Return

A poem by Theodosia Garrison

I come to you grown weary of much laughter,
From jangling mirth that once seemed over-sweet,
From all the mocking ghosts that follow after
A man's returning feet;
Give me no word of welcome or of greeting
Only in silence let me enter in,
Only in silence when our eyes are meeting,
Absolve me of my sin.

I come to you grown weary of much living,
Open your door and lift me of your grace,
I ask for no compassion, no forgiving,
Only your face, your face;
Only in that white peace that is your dwelling
To come again, before your feet to sink,
And of your quiet as of wine compelling
Drink as the thirsting drink.

Be kind to me as sleep is kind that closes
With tender hands men's fever-wearied eyes,
Your arms are as a garden of white roses
Where old remembrance lies,
I, who am bruised with words and pierced with chiding,
Give me your silence as a Saint might give
Her white cloak for some hunted creature's hiding,
That he might rest and live.

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