Green Hills Literary Lantern

 

 

Some Things I Like About Doors

 

                                    for Steve Kowit

 

They are open or shut.

They can express nuance: mostly open, nearly shut.

The mechanics are so simple: a latch, a bolt. All you

            need to work on them are a screwdriver and a plane;

  maybe a few drops of oil.

You don’t recall the details of the ones that have shut

            forever.

At night, you turn the lock and think The day is done.

And then you head to bed, convinced that you are safe.

When the solicitors come, you open the door an inch

            and apologize over the barking dogs: Sorry!

When it’s cold, they keep in the warmth.

When it’s warm, they let in the breeze.

No one says How do you work this thing? and

            scratches his head in confusion.

They are so patient: closed until they’re open; opened

            until they’re closed, unless the wind catches one

            and slams it with a bang.

You almost can’t break one, unless consumed by rage.

When you need to break one, you often can.

Then you fix it and move on.

They’re small enough to paint without a ladder.

They are happy to have you attach numbers to them.

They don’t mind if you paint them purple.

They almost never rot.

You can replace them without taking out a home loan.

They open to the world.

And then they shut it out.

 

 

 

 

Will Walker lives in San Francisco with his wife and their dog. He is a former editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. He's published widely in various periodicals and has a book (winner of the Blue Light Press 2008 Book Award), titled Wednesday after Lunch, available on Amazon.