Do not judge too harshly the flinch
beneath your welcoming embrace.
I have waded the deep drifts of
unrelenting crisis, dripped the
icy residue of rejection
all over the carpet and feared
that I would be sent back out,
having forgotten how to smile.
The blaze of human kindness gives
exquisite pain to one fresh in
out of the cold night of sorrow.
But if you hold the door open,
the war boots will come off. The coat
of solitude will be hung up.
Even the saturated socks
of secret fears will be stripped off,
one sodden layer at a time.
So please, if you worry the heat
is being wasted and you too
feel the chill pricking at your skin,
stand just one moment longer
in the sacred uncertainty
of neither inside nor outside.
Many doors may some day be held open
in memory of this night.