Houses

People who are afraid of themselves
Multiply themselves into families
And so divide themselves
And so become less afraid.

People who might have to go out
Into clanging strangers' laughter,
Crowd under roofs, make compacts
To no more than smile at each other.

People who might meet their own faces
Or surprise their own voices in doorways
Build themselves rooms without mirrors
And live between walls without echoes.

People who might meet other faces
And unknown voices round corners
Build themselves rooms all mirrors
And live between walls all echoes.

People who are afraid to go naked
Clothe themselves in families, houses,
But are still afraid of death
Because death one day will undress them.


Submitted by Stephen Fryer

by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

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