Disheveled, tattered, worn, and seared by flame,
Seeking the surface, chilled, all passion spent,
I struggle from the trough; my limbs are lame
from climbing; my eyes dazzled, shoulders bent.
Pausing to search the dark, the silent road--
Past hope, I find I do not stand alone!
Your hand, your weary hand, extended yet,
No phantom, but your faithful flesh and bone.
So did Odysseus come at last to land,
Circe's enchantment gone;
His company all dead, his ship unmanned;
In rags he came, one longing unabated.
Silent, remote, and yet with steadfast hand,
Weaving once more, alone Penelope waited.
© Jean M. Campbell 1994