The Agony and Ecstasy of Doors: a #haibun…#haiku #poetry


Rome. Arch of Janus in the Foro Boario. Facade towards the Tevere river. Through the arch, the porch of the church of Saint George in Velabro is seen. By No machine-readable author provided. MM assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Who could imagine that a locked, white-paneled double-door would offer freedom? I tremble before it, a pubescent boy home from 7th grade. I place my key in the keyhole, turn the lock, open the door. Any moment I’ll see Mom. Her glassy eye and lazy sneer will greet me. Her slurred voice will confirm the sinking feeling that arose the moment these doors came into view. Who knew opening the doors to home would enslave?

sudden cold

echo of the thump

of doors closing

Who could imagine that an open front door would enslave? I walk through it to the courtyard beyond. Mira approaches from the pathway between condo buildings. She looks startled as she sees me. I offer her my overdue apology. She wanted help with our newborn son; I wanted down-time from work, to spend in a rocking chair and a new novel. We make up for not the first, and certainly not the last, time, and return home. Who knew closing a door to home would liberate?

full moon

soft click of a deadbolt

scarcely heard



for Poets United–midweek motif (January 3, 2018)–doorway(s)

UPDATE: for dVerse Poets’ Tuesday Poetics (June 26, 2018) — Opposites Attract, Or Do They? (pubtended by lillian)




33 replies »

  1. Your title is stark and true. Always in that instant outside the door, the reality of the inside visits. I’ve experienced both! It’s wonderful that those double doors ultimately open to liberation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad the dread of going home Frank, the door opening to what you knew lay beyond.
    I am glad those very same days later opened to freedom.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for posting Frank. The agony and the ecstasy — the juxtapositioning of doors that lead into a home: one dysfunctional, dreaded at the end of the school day. I’m reading into it here, but perhaps an alcoholic parent…children who must become the adults when their parents are in the throes of alcoholism or some addiction. They move from their lively day at school with chatter and books and learning and colors of the outside world and bright clothing and energy….to inside the home where others have warmth, and but children of alcoholics only have uncertainty and dread. They feel like the backside of a couch that has been shredded by a cat’s claws.
    And then the adult door….so many years later…that when opened, literally, leads to a life where one can breathe and trust and touch a baby’s soft skin and see a mother rock and cherish and teach that child of unconditional love.
    I don’t know if this is or was your situation…..but it is the truth for many children of alcoholics. May they all find a door that opens to freedom within and with relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve done an amazing job with the opposites – walking through the door to what sounds like an abusive, alcoholic parent and another door to a loving relationship and a newborn son.

    Liked by 1 person

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