Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > III. Love > 24. “The way I read a letter’s this”

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part Three: Love


THE WAY I read a letter’s this:
’T is first I lock the door,
And push it with my fingers next,
For transport it be sure.
And then I go the furthest off        5
To counteract a knock;
Then draw my little letter forth
And softly pick its lock.
Then, glancing narrow at the wall,
And narrow at the floor,        10
For firm conviction of a mouse
Not exorcised before,
Peruse how infinite I am
To—no one that you know!
And sigh for lack of heaven,—but not        15
The heaven the creeds bestow.


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