a note*

Everything I post here I have previously published on the many other blogs I have had. This is a place for my favourites to rest. These are the wings that taught me i could fly and that there is life waiting, far beyond the ridge.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Door

I used to watch her
she of the second floor
I, of the third

it was the kind of apartment where if one tenant turned on the water,
the others all knew.
but sounds and numbers were all that were known
as names were secreted behind closed doors
and lowered gazes upon the stairs

first, as the light seeped my room
I would hear the pipes jangle and creak
then the faint echo of a medicine cabinet being plundered
before a door here, a cabinet there
and then the melody of her music would waft up
on the aroma of her coffee
wrapping itself around my bare feet
spiraling up my legs
and taking my loin prisoner without a fight

I would then open my window because I knew she would open hers
and it was funny, the way my mind froze
navigating only to her unseen steps

my feet truly found their rhythm when I would hear the heavy door open and close
and I would glance to the clock in association, knowing her moccasined feet
whispered down the stairs.

in a ritual race my own feet pulled me to my window from where,at the edge of the curtain,
I could watch her emerge onto the sidewalk below.

I would smile as she threw her auburn locks to the wind
and her hands would dip into that corduroy jacket.
she always crossed the street at an angle with nary a glance
as if she knew the world
would respect her passage.

she was going to the river, this I knew
where she would scrabble its vacant banks
speak to the current with her soul
the morning with her eyes
and to her heart, with her thoughts.
and she always retrieved a new treasure for her sill
to remind herself who she was.

this wasn't a lonely walk, it was embryonic
a seed for the evening harvest.

this too I knew, because at night I would quietly ascend those stairs
pause beside her closed door
and listen to the threshing.

one day, no more unique than another, as I descended and she ascended,
her bag of groceries shifted, her leathered foot slipped and her grace failed
-but I caught her, and my catch lingered..
things were exchanged
eyes met
silence considered
and a laugh breezed into a smile

Though no words were spoken that day, when next I paused beside her door
I heard her threshing pause with my steps.

then one evening her door was left open -just a crack
then half way
then all the way

this open door led to a name beyond the number
and a chair at her table where we drank her coffee and shared a story

I remember those days now and where they took me
I remember believing that door knew no limit

I would have been wise to remember the way she crossed the street
for one night as I climbed those stairs,
I found that door closed once again.
I remember the pain of those two voices rising up through the floorboards
taunting my concrete feet and spinning a new beat to an old routine.

I think maybe he was the baker who brought her bread
or perhaps a beggar from the park
but I never really cared to know

my mind now froze only in pale numbness and my curtain stayed closed.

I could've moved
should've moved
I know it now as I knew it then
and maybe I tried but good sense plays a minor role on such a dark stage.

the other day as I reached the second floor, I noticed two things;
the door open a crack
and a man's slippers just inside
I didn't pause
doors say more than we hear