Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Street of Many Doors


There was a row of doors,
each different, speaking like the mouth of a house
as they opened and shut,
whereby the words could come in and go out.

There was the ornamental screen door on each,
white, brown, black, red, framing the entrance
while citizens of Mission City sat on their porches:
one old plaid woman in a rocking chair,
a young guy with long hair, strumming
his silver-stringed banjo.

Fleur was the little woman;
she stood at the gate to the garden at dusk,
the fragrance rose and cracked,
the petals were like the folds of her dress.
"We love our house," she said.
"Our house has deep shadows;
the shadows of saying hello
and the shadows of saying goodbye."

I climbed on my delivery bike with its basket
and rode through the street all night
with the downtown newspapers.
They were folded like origami.
By five, it was early morning,
and the sun was just beginning to rise.
I was standing in the street in ripped jeans;
it beheld my sackcloth as a fierce tiger lily.

Emily Isaacson