The Gate

A young couple giggle like teens
as they stumble toward their guest house.
Muffled laughter escapes as they recount
how close they came to being locked out.
They were told the imposing black wrought
iron gate would close at a specified time; no re-entry
until morning. They had sprinted through a diminishing
opening, hearing the locks click behind them.

A man dressed in black walks slowly past the imposing
black wrought iron gate. Carefully he analyzes the
twists and turns, the swirls of the ornate metal leaves,
looking for any weakness. Looking for access when the family
is away and the house might be left unguarded.

As the paint dries a tradesman takes the opportunity
to admire his work. The imposing black wrought iron gate
has been restored to its former beauty. As he takes in
the size and artistry before him, he imagines who may have
passed through the opening in the gate’s glory days.


Air is charged
Try to breathe but can only gasp
cannot inhale deep enough
cannot draw air in

Want to lay down
want to run, escape
want to read
to forget
dive into someone else’s story
so do not have to face own

Tears surface but refuse to fall
accompanying lump in throat
contributing to difficulty breathing

one – two – three
one – two – three
one – two – three

a polka that needs to be taken down to a waltz

over and over again
count repeated until moment passes
and calmness returns

Energy is drained
but have survived
did not drop into bottomless pit
Great sadness closes in
yet life can go on

A little piece
the tiniest sliver
of self
has been restored
and can go on

But the monster comes back
angry to have been kept at bay

All that can be done
is ride the wave of tears


one – two – three
one – two – three
one – two – three…

Feel the pain
acknowledge guilt


Look for the shining little sliver of self
hold on tight
despite bleeding hands
and shattered heart
hold on
hold on
to go on