Home At Last

Homesick hungry weary lonely,
Hearts beleaguered, yet unbowed.
Still we seek thee ancient beauty
Shining prospect glimpsed through cloud.
Bright horizon, distant city
Where our joy cries out, “Receive!”
Where our hearts are stilled and gentled,
Love the atmosphere
We breathe.

Hearts that long for such a morning
Find no ease in emptiness —
Ancient beauty sate our yearning,
Slake our thirst for holiness.
For with thee the new day dawning
Soft and sweet, all dread now ceasing,
Peace and righteousness shall kiss,
And joy will ring out love’s
Great Feast.

Song of Songs, 2022

I.

I am a window shopper
Leaning against the window
Of the world, broke and hopeless
In the lonely city at midnight.
I wander wastelands of Facebook,
Twitter, and Tumblr, hoping that someone
Might speak my name and say–
Yes, I know you, He was here.
Instead, they turn and beat me.

A ceaseless ache drives me out
To seek you in empty streets.
O daughters of the city, I cry,
Have you seen him? Has he passed this way?
Do not waken love until it please, they say.
This love is dry and hidden, I say.
Like dust in my mouth.
I cannot taste it.

I am parched–I cannot speak.
Grit rasps my throat.
The desert wind taunts me:
You only croak his name.
He will not hear. He will pass by.
I am forsaken.
O daughters of the city,
Give me hope!

Our sister is a hidden garden.
Though she knows it not,
The king desires her beauty.
Do not waken love until it pleases.

A time and times and a time,
Still broke and leaning on windows,
I wait in darkness, until it please. 

II.

From summit to city he leaps—
Life surges up, wakes from sleep,
Blind eyes turn upward,
The deaf hear, the lame walk.
His seal he sets on the waters
To mark his redeemed, root and branch. 

Joy wells up, burning bright,
The weight of his gaze
Takes my breath.
How shall I bear
This day of all days?

His voice enfolds me:
I have formed you,
Walked beside you,
Never left you.
You are all fair, my love.
So have I greatly desired this day.
See, a wedding dress jeweled, decked in gold.
I shall make you a tower of ivory.
You shall be as one who brings peace.

I say, Amen.
And the weight of glory
Prostrates me.

My love is a stag on the heights;
He comes, he goes, we know not the hour.
His path he has made where none else have gone.
His patience and mercy outlast the stars.
He waits ‘til it please, O citizens,
A time and times and a time,
For he knows at his coming all things rise.


Citation Information

Ann Gauger, “Home at Last,” An Unexpected Journal: Joy 5, no. 3. (Fall 2022), 55.


Ann Gauger, “Song of Songs,” An Unexpected Journal: Joy 5, no. 3. (Fall 2022), 56-58.