Oh thou stranger
   In this strangest land,
Tread warily upon my heart,
   For it is tender and sorely bruised
And I am most afraid
  To care, or touch,
Or seek out human warmth,
   And so, have turned once more
As a turtle in its shell
   Seeks its life within,
Rather than face outward
   All of men's petty cruelties.
Take care with me,
   As with a fragile vase,
Which, when filled with blooms
   Fulfills its purpose,
But stands alone,
   Empty and uncared for
Till Spring should touch the land.
   Oh warm my winter
Into brightest Spring,
  Gently, ever gently,
Lest perchance I break.

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