wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Welcome To The Real World  22 of 59 →  HOME  


Many times I have reached out my hand
only to draw it back unclasped 

Many times I thought I had been understood
Many times I have been beaten back by the brutality of words 

So many times I have reached towards the handle of the door 

I have always expected something tremendous to happen
I have always thought I was preparing to make my entrance
to where behind the door
the wise and beautiful laughed together happily
and planned the secret order of the world  

I have always thought when I opened the door
everything would change

Sometimes I wonder what prevents me
Is it what I remember?

I remember a child lying by its dead mother
I remember a momentary loss of concentration
I remember steel probing a soft spot on the skin
I remember the slight variation in tone of voice that marks the end of affection
I remember the strength of youth
I remember things that never happened 

As a child I lay staring at the shadows of branches
thrown by the streetlamp onto the bedroom door,
behind which I knew someone was listening,
and I lay hearing my heartbeat,
watching the handle, waiting for it to turn 

I remember remembering  

Sometimes I remember to forget
and then I reach towards the handle of the door 

So many times I have reached towards the handle of the door
that I have come to think the door is only something I remember
and if the handle had turned I would have been afraid 

Many times I have hoped there was nothing behind the door
Even more than I want to change I do not want to change
and beyond the door may be nothing to reach towards
but only remembering 

So many times I have reached towards the handle of the door
knowing as I reached I would not turn it
and yet I reached 

And will go on reaching towards the handle of the door
for there is hope not in the door but in the reaching

Second of five poems in the poetry/mime production Only Wood, with John and Carina Persson (1995).

Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.