A Poem: Closing Doors

Have to admit that I am running low on material just sitting around as far as short stories/poetry to show here. Mainly it’s older stuff that I might be interested in publishing someday – my main focus has been novels.

Anyway, read this if you want and see what you think.

Closing Doors

 

Down the grey hall, fluorescents

flickering more and more as the clock hands

drag

I walk past the doors.

Some are French, others

industrial with piston handles,

others are American Revival

(when is that coming?)

Years back, I remember

that all of the doors were open,

and you were able to walk in.

It wasn’t quite as easy to walk in

some of the doors, however.

There were doors that led to long

flights of staircases, or

balance-beam narrow bridges,

for instance.

Some of the doors had come from bank vaults,

so it took my shoulder and my bulk

to get it open.

Sometimes I ducked my head behind the door

and found empty desks or rows of kids playing all board games I’d gotten tired of when I was 5, so I didn’t walk in.

I walked into other doors, though, even the occasional vault door or the one where I had to wrestle it open or climb a hyperangle hill.

As I look around now, though,

something has slowly changed.

Every year, I would try the handle of a door and find it locked.

Every year, I’d discover a couple more doors locked, or chained shut.

There were even a few metal doors that

I could see had been freshly welded shut,

the gun-grey solder ice-hot to the touch,

the door handles smashed.

Nowadays, I’d say whenever I stalk the hall,

half of the doors can’t be opened

for one reason or the other.

I’ve realized those closings can’t be helped, that you can only leave the doors open for so long before closing up shop.

The only door that doesn’t seem ready for the lock is the one at the end of the hall.

It doesn’t appear to even have an actual door, just an ornately carved oak doorjam and

ink darkness bleeding out from it.

I always walk down there to the end, but I’ve never looked in and never walked in.

Maybe later.

Maybe I’ll have to, when all of the doors

are locked and I’m not able to open

anything else.

Every time I have fewer doors.

Usually, that makes me sad to tears or makes my nerves raw.

Just recently, however,

I’ve begun wondering if what I will feel when the time comes will be simply relief.

Or, maybe I’ll be able to pick a few locks

by then.

Who knows?

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