held back by a name

From a notebook, dated 1 Nov 2002:

I know there are no conversion experiences;
Nothing changes when you find faith.
You are the same today as your were yesterday;
The paths of your mind lead to their same overgrown ends;
Desires still wash through well-worn gullies in the field of need.

But one night I was driving in Atlanta,
In the heart of the city of my heart,
On the wide, well-lit freeways of my habit,
And the sign for my exit had changed.

Perhaps I should have seen the signs:
Signs by signs, signs on the ground or wrapped in plastic —
Surely it didn’t happen all at once,
Guerilla lampblacked workmen in a daring raid!

But I was driving in a city I knew,
On roads that I knew,
And before I knew,
A new name, a new sign —
And I hesitated, not knowing where to turn.

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