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



Reaching

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 permissions.