He keeps the window open almost always.

For he can’t shake off the dusty layer he’s gathered over time.

His elbow has a bruise, purple yellow at a glance, from bumping into walls,

Down darkening halls, he has no reason to travel.

But he keeps a distance from the door, never seems to reach it.

It used to creak, that door, the front door on the first floor,

Where many, too many, have stood in indecision

On the other side, never his side.

He can’t see the scuff marks on the once white threshold,

Where they’ve stopped, moved no farther,

No further, in his case, in any event, in an emergency he would step out, step over.

No doubt, one day soon he will, he’ll have to leave.

But until that day, until that time,

He keeps the window open almost always.

d’Verse Poetics – Oral Poetry

Photo above from Unsplash taken by Frank Busch.

18 thoughts on “Threshold

  1. What a poignantly desperate state of isolation you have captured here, Jo-Anne! Perhaps many more of us can identify with such a feeling after long months in lockdown. I hope he makes it out into the sunlight soon 🙂

    1. Thank you for the unique prompt, Ingrid. I enjoyed trying to put the words together in a lyrical manner. I was too shy to record my reading of it but perhaps in the future. Isolation is contained in the story, but the window to me is a possibility, a bit of hope, though not direct.

  2. This shut-in is trapped in his shutting: The door is the threshold barred by psyche, the greater barrier. But a window is kept open, which to me means the problem isn’t passage but yielding. Permitting one’s self to let go.

  3. Quarantine isolation so well portrayed in your powm….and the melancholia it generates.

    1. Thank you, Beverly. I was actually thinking of an elderly person initially when trying to capture the tone but then the parallel of isolation because of the pandemic came to mind. The feelings at any age would be similar.

    1. That is true, isn’t it? When someone has the tendency to isolate themselves, then all of a sudden the entire community is isolating, their behaviour normalizes. It would make it so much easier for those folks. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Björn.

  4. This is so evocative. I can feel the pain and the angst of one being in isolation .. (both in mind and place) .. you have captured it so powerfully!

  5. Lovely writing though it is sadly poignant, as if the wait is coming (surely) to an ending but it is unbearably difficult to carry through.

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