Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > I. Life > 79. “I years had been from home”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part One: Life

LXXIX


I YEARS had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before
  
Stare vacant into mine        5
And ask my business there.
My business,—just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?
  
I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;        10
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.
  
I laughed a wooden laugh
That I could fear a door,
Who danger and the dead had faced,        15
But never quaked before.
  
I fitted to the latch
My hand, with trembling care,
Lest back the awful door should spring,
And leave me standing there.        20
  
I moved my fingers off
As cautiously as glass,
And held my ears, and like a thief
Fled gasping from the house.

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