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Always heading home



But you’re always heading home through the clearest summer night,

In the family wagon that is always your ride,

With Father at the wheel, and Mother asleep at his side;

And in back only you are awake and upright,

Alongside your siblings far off in their dreams,

As your window unrolls each moon-lighted mile

To faraway jazz on the wavering dial

And the road’s solemn knocks where the tires meet the seams.

And your secret awareness feels almost forbidden

As you gaze on the evening unpeopled and still,

Cleansed by the moon of all human will,

Where man himself is the Maker now hidden,

From all the clean and well-lighted places

And the houses you know as Hopper’s now,

The factories, stores and service stations—all sacred somehow

Without us and aglow in night’s immeasurable spaces.

You’re always young—and ageless too; and Father in his seat ahead,

And those who drowse and dream, inhabit the quiet of always and never—

All of your loved ones are safe now forever,

But nothing can be shared and nothing can be said.

Oh wherever in the world you are, that silence in the soul—

Stronger than hope, deeper than sorrow, truer than the knowing word—

That silence is running through all that is heard;

And whatever the sun may show as your goal,

The moment your eyes are closed to the light

You are always heading home through the mystery of night,

And the old family wagon, that’s always your ride,

With Father at the wheel, and Mother asleep at his side.



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