When the truth came to me,
slipped into my house in its white
robes, its face open as my face,
its heart obvious and trusting,
I stood calmly in the front hall
and did not move to bar the door.

When the truth laid its cool hand
on my sleeve and said,
Come with me, it’s time, I went
quietly. She led me into the past,
through the back yards I once
knew, bedrooms and kitchens;
we sat in my father’s car and talked.

I was shivering in my thin skin
and crying readily by this time: terrified,
furious. She offered her own consolation —
no false pats on the hand and no shoulder
to lean on, I had to learn to stand upright
or bend on my own. In her clear voice
the truth offered all she has to give us:
Herself, and the stern comfort
of belonging to this world.