Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Anne Britting Oleson

old door

Ornate, wrought iron:
I gently screw the plates
into the doorjamb, a clockwise turn
of the wrist tightening the dividers
of my world, replacing a door
which ages ago some previous resident
of this house felt unnecessary. What,
after all, was there to shut out?

Perhaps not out, but in.
I adjust the fit, swinging the four-panel
door back and forth, testing
whether the latch, in its metallic imitation
of sex, slips into the catchplate:
relief when it does. No lock,
of course, yet again the question forms.

The hinges squeak, but lightly.
I do not bother to oil
their barely audible complaint.
Preferring to stand back
and survey my handiwork,
the soft gleaming of oak,
neither do I bother to close the door.


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