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Rolfe Humphries - Coming Home

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Coming Home

You are coming home at night:
you pass from light to light,
walking around the block,
and your shadow swings to the right
the way a second hand
goes round a modern clock,
and other shadows, bound
to your footsteps, climb the walls,
or jerk along the pavement,
and some contrast and darken,
others lengthen and fade.

The lights are various loves
by whom you find your way,
by whom you see and move:
they lend you guidance, they
enable you to find
not only house and door,
and wall and window-blind,
but something less and more,
your image, multiplied,
cast for your gaze, and thrown
distorted, but your own.

And what you need the most,
O walker in the night,
is to continue, sure
the self is always right,
and neither caricature,
nor unavailing ghost.

And if a light is broken,
if one of them goes out,
as well they may, of course,
and substance takes from shadow
its absolute divorce,
be reassured, in darkness,
the self is never lost.

Rolfe Humphries

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