First there's door soundsOpening in the distance
the whoosh of closure
closedthe silence holds your breath
nextthe steps' sound
slow sidesteps or tiptoejust touching on a threat
or a rush at you
even a voice calling a nameany name at all
somethinga bell could ring
anything to complete this sequencesatisfied.
How It Should Be
I should be able to arrange these things, set them in predictable motion and just sit back and await the results. I should be able to sit down at this keyboard, and the words should come like sheep to their shepherd, bees to their keeper, fish to their fisherman. I should be able to sit down at this keyboard, and the words should line up like the homeless at a soup kitchen, like teenagers at a movie or rock concert, line up like depositors at a bank, like mourners at a wake. They should be pounding on the door like police with a warrant, like a landlord with questions about a bad check, like firemen at a burning house. I should be able to sit down, and the words should call up, ring me up like telemarketers, political survey takers, credit card collectors, ring up like an old friend in town for the day who remembers me and thinks I’m still home, the friend who sat with me drinking and smoking half the night saying things we hardly believed. The words should pile up on the lawn like leaves, like litter, or junk cars, pile up like debts and regrets, like all the things I meant to do, should have said. They should pile up like snow does, drift up to the door, enough for snowballs and shoveling, enough for Christmas and snowmen and angels. They should wrap themselves in useable images, memories worth the record, phrases and lines that work and matter, that summarize and save, that take on a life of their own, call me, demand I sit at this keyboard ready to get them all down, down here where they all belonged in the first place.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Northern New England Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.