Stranger

Your head,
not kept up
Your eyes,
empty and still
Your shoulders,
low and hunched
Your voice,
a whisper.

I do not stop for coffee
when I have no hope
and it is hard to speak to God
here in this desert.

But seeing you
I am reminded
of this sad thing:
I am not alone
in hurting,
in grieving,
in pain.

But it has grown hard
hard to take on another’s pain
hard to love
hard to comfort
when I have such little faith
and even less hope.

But I see you stranger
I see it in your eyes
I know that this moment is misery
And if you would just look at me
for a moment
you would see
that you are not alone.

The Strangest Place I Have Ever Been

I have traveled across the sea
To foreign lands with strange hard tongues
And been a stranger there to see
But this is stranger still by far.

I have climbed so high to see
If maybe on the tops of peaks
There was a way to simply be
But this is stranger still by far.

I have served a loyal dog
Jumped to answer every call
I wore that green in every fog
But this is stranger still by far.

I have studied till my eyes went cross
And read the stacks as if on fire
Searching for an answer lost
But this is stranger still by far.

I have been in love with all my heart
And kissed the fairest maiden found
Enthralled I was by beauty’s mark
But this is stranger still by far.

I have lost most precious everything
And felt the depths of cold despair
And searched half crazy for that ring
But this is stranger still by far.

I’ve almost died so many times
I could not even feign to count
And on the edge of ghostly climes
But this is stranger still by far.

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
And here I come at last
How might I begin to see
To love myself at all.