wordsout by godfrey rust
Welcome To The Real World  < 22 of 59 >


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
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 
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

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

Godfrey Rust 1995, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.