Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

An avalanche of reckless thoughts keeps us
Apart. I’ll find excuses when, by chance,
We meet between distractions. Let’s not fuss
About my guarded habits. Our romance
Seemed fine, at first, until you sought to know
My hidden self: the hurts, the fears, the shame
Of past mistakes. Why should I stoop to show
My foiled pride? Why bother, since you claim
To know all things? Let’s leave me as I am,
Why yield protected ground? Can’t you prove love
Apart from crosses, blood and thorns? The sham
I use to hide behind should rid me of
My need to wear the robe you wove for me.
Inquire once more and you may see me flee.

—Michael J. Adams